Addressing Telehealth Equity Requires Meaningful Engagement of Impacted Communities


November 1, 2020

As children’s behavioral health providers, advocates, and families, we are deeply concerned about the mental and emotional toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on New York’s children and families. In this new landscape, telehealth has taken on a central role in service delivery, yet vast inequities in telehealth access threaten to widen existing health disparities. Importantly, the voices of those most directly impacted by telehealth access challenges – children, parents, communities, and the providers who serve them – have not been included nearly enough in formal decision-making around how to address systemic barriers to access. We seek to draw attention to some of these central telehealth inequities; identify key questions that must be addressed for these barriers to be tackled; and urge the State to develop effective, meaningful, and ongoing engagement strategies for consumers and service providers.

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