The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine shall establish a planning committee to plan and host a 1- to 2-day public workshop to facilitate a discussion focused on the use of telehealth technology to provide diagnostic services across a range of disciplines for use in disability evaluations. The goal of this workshop is to provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with a picture of current telehealth practice and the challenges associated with this mode of service delivery.
The meeting shall feature invited presentations and discussions on topics such as:
- A general overview, including:
- Variations in terminology (e.g., telemedicine, telehealth, telepractice); differences in implementation based on the term used; likelihood of each to meet SSA’s needs in disability evaluations;
- How telehealth is being used by the medical and allied health communities; how telehealth differs from a typical videoconference and whether those differences are universal; and
- Services included in the scope of telehealth (clinical and nonclinical)
- — Types of telehealth technologies employed in patient evaluation (e.g., videoconferencing, store-and-forward imaging) and the specific usage concerns associated with each; and
- — Specific disabilities (e.g., vision, hearing) for which telehealth may not be an effective means of evaluation.
- Utilization of telehealth technology
- How differences in digital access among racial or ethnic populations have affected health care utilization prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency (and during the emergency if data are available);
- General overview of utilization among physicians, speech-language pathologists, and psychologists; and
- Experience of another large organization (i.e., the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [VA]) in providing telehealth evaluations for disability evaluations similar to SSA’s consultative evaluations (CEs).
- Professional licensure and liability concerns
- Differences in interstate licensure requirements across professions, including the growing membership in interstate licensure compacts;
- Whether existing telehealth-related court rulings indicate that practitioners should maintain special liability/malpractice insurance; and
- Challenges experienced by the VA in issuing a rule authorizing the agency’s professionals to practice across state lines.
- Primary privacy and security concerns for clinicians who utilize telehealth services.
- Challenges faced by Federal partnerships that focus on engaging with clinicians, patients, and others to increase access to services.
The planning committee will organize the workshop, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. A proceedings of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.