Targeting Access to Kidney Care Via Telehealth: The VA Experience

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2017 Jan;24(1):22-30. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2016.11.005.


The Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States and is responsible for the care of a population with a disproportionately high rate of CKD. As such, ensuring access to kidney health services is a VA imperative. One facet of the VA's strategy to reduce CKD is to leverage the use of teletechnology to expand the VA's outreach to Veterans with kidney disease. A wide array of teletechnology services have been deployed to both pull in Veterans and push out kidney health services to Veterans in their preferred health care venue. Teletechnology, thus, expands Veteran choice, facilitates their access to care, and furthers the goal of delivering patient-centered kidney specialty care. The VA has demonstrated the feasibility of virtual delivery of kidney specialty care services and education via synchronous and asynchronous approaches. The challenges ahead include determining the relative health care value of kidney telehealth services, identifying Veterans most likely to benefit from specific technologies and optimizing the adoption of effective kidney telehealth services by both providers and patients alike to ensure optimal and timely kidney health care delivery.

Keywords: Access to health care; Health services; Kidney disease; Patient education as topic; Telemedicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Nephrology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Telemedicine*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs*