WellSpan Medical Education

WellSpan Doctors Co-Author Study About Use of Telemedicine in Obesity Screening

A pair of WellSpan team members recently had their peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Obesity Science & Practice.

Dr. Abdul Waheed, residency program director at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital Family Medicine, and Dr. Derek Baughman, chief resident at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, along with collaborators from The Robert Graham Center in Washington, D.C., co-authored a study comparing telemedicine and in-person quality performance for abnormal body mass index (BMI) screening and management in primary care.

The study measured Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set quality performance for abnormal BMI screenings of more than 287,000 patients across eight hospitals from April 2020 through September 2021.

The encounters were divided into three exposure groups – office, telemedicine, and blended telemedicine.

The study found that quality performance was highest for blended-telemedicine, followed by office-only, then telemedicine-only.

Telemedicine has been widely adopted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this study concludes that, given the known cost-savings, adding telemedicine as a care venue might promote value within health systems without negatively impacting quality performance.

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