The 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act in the United States extended telehealth access to Medicare beneficiaries who receive home dialysis in which two of three monthly visits in a quarter may be performed by telehealth after three initial face-to-face monthly visits. The originating site (where the patient is located) can be a dialysis unit or the patient's home and without geographic restriction. Patient awareness and interest in this new telehealth benefit in urban patients has not been well characterized. Patients receiving peritoneal dialysis (PD) treatment located in an urban facility completed a survey to ascertain knowledge of telehealth and readiness and willingness to participate in telehealth for their monthly visit. A total of 30 patients participated: 37% who completed the survey had heard of telehealth and 40% were able to define telehealth in words and correctly identify an example of telehealth. None of the patients were aware of the 2018 US Bipartisan Budget Act which extended telehealth assess to Medicare beneficiaries. Almost everyone had a mobile phone (83%), owned a computer (50%), and had access to Internet services (90%). The majority of patients (73%) were willing to use telehealth services for their monthly visit with the physician. PD patients living in an urban setting appear to be ready and interested in using telehealth to perform their monthly visit with the physician.
Keywords: Access to healthcare; end-stage renal disease; home dialysis; outcome; peritoneal dialysis; quality; rural; telehealth; telemedicine; urban.