The Ask the Analyst series is a deep dive into the data by those most familiar with the CO APCD – the analysts themselves. We’ll hear about their experiences with recent analyses and answer any pressing questions that come up. Have a question for the CIVHC Analyst Team? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Project: CIVHC released the Telehealth Services Analysis at the end of August. It explores telehealth utilization in Colorado prior to COVID and is designed to be refreshed as the CO APCD is updated to track changes in telehealth as a result of the pandemic. Join our webinar Sept. 30 at 12pm MDT to learn more.
Analyst Name: Katie Oberg
Project Purpose (in one sentence, what high level question was this analysis trying to answer?):
Who is utilizing telehealth, why are they using telehealth, what type of care are they receiving, and who is providing telehealth?
- What were your first steps when beginning this analysis?
Developing a comprehensive methodology for identifying all relevant telehealth claims in the CO APCD.
- Were there specific considerations you needed to consider based on the data?
Being aware of the recent COVID-related changes to telehealth billing guidelines was important when developing the methodology. When it came to developing the report, I wanted to strike a balance between summarizing the data in a way that was useful and digestible while also providing enough detail to communicate the wide array of services being delivered through telehealth.
- What challenges did you encounter while performing the analysis? How did you overcome them?
Jumping off of question two, creating meaningful groupings of procedure codes, diagnosis codes, and provider taxonomies was challenging. We started by looking at what types of codes are most prevalent in the data and then thought about which groupings were most clinically relevant and will become more relevant as we receive more COVID-19 era data.
- Without delving into results, did anything surprise you about this analysis or the process of executing it?
The incredibly wide range of services provided via telehealth.
- What did you learn while performing this analysis?
In doing the background research, I learned a lot about the barriers to telehealth and how telehealth is helping rural communities respond to COVID-19 cases specifically.