Introduction: Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a form of telehealth that improves quality of care for chronic disease treatment and reduces hospital readmission rates. Geographical proximity to health care is important for individuals of low socioeconomic status (SES) who face additional financial and transportation barriers. The goal of this study was to assess the association between social determinants of health and adoption of RPM. Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed data from hospitals that responded to the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey (2018) and spatially linked census tract-level environmental and social determinants of health obtained from the Social Vulnerability Index (2018). Results: A total of 4,206 hospitals (1,681 rural and 2,525 urban hospitals) met study criteria. Rural hospitals near households in the lower middle quartile SES were associated with a 33.5% lower likelihood of having adopted RPM for chronic care management compared with rural hospitals near households in the highest quartile SES (adjusted odds ratios [aOR] = 0.665; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.453-0.977). Urban hospitals near households in the lowest quartile SES were associated with a 41.9% lower likelihood of having adopted RPM for chronic care management compared with urban hospitals near households in the highest quartile SES (aOR = 0.581; 95% CI: 0.435-0.775). Similar trends in accessibility were found with RPM for postdischarge services among urban hospitals. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the importance of hospital responsibility and state and federal policy approaches toward ensuring equitable access to RPM services for patients characterized by lower SES.
Keywords: disparities; remote patient monitoring; rural; socioeconomic status; telehealth; telemedicine; urban.