Access to Mental Telehealth Services Varies Greatly Throughout the United States

A study published in the JAMA Health Forum found that disparities in mental telehealth availability in the US are not significantly influenced by patients’ mental health conditions or demographics. Instead, access to telehealth services was associated with facility-, county-, and state-level characteristics. The study, conducted through a secret shopper method, found that 80% of mental health treatment facilities offered telehealth services, with no differences based on clinical condition. Telehealth availability was more likely in outpatient facilities and private not-for-profit or for-profit facilities. Wait times for telehealth appointments varied, with no differences based on patient characteristics. The study highlighted disparities in telehealth service access throughout the US.

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