Dr. Samantha Solimeo, Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine, has received a $113,000 grant from the VA Office of Rural Health to study through the end of September 2018 the possibility of providing osteoporosis care to veterans via telehealth. Dr. Solimeo is the Director of the Ethnographic Methods and Implementation Core within CADRE, a VA Center of Innovation designed to expand and improve access to high-quality care.
Dr. Solimeo will examine strategies associated with a Specialty Care Patient Aligned Care Team (SC-PACT) designed to deliver primary osteoporosis prevention to rural veterans using telehealth among other strategies. The Salt Lake City VA Health Care System Center of Innovation Rural Bone Health Team (COI-BHT) has been implementing its own telehealth program to co-manage rural veterans’ osteoporosis care with their primary care provider. The Salt Lake City VA (VISN 19) covers a wider area than the Iowa City VA’s region (VISN 23), and so their program presents a wealth of data to Dr. Solimeo for analysis and evaluation.
Her analysis will provide critical information regarding: 1) the transferability of COI-BHT methods to other rural regions such as VISN 23; 2) the utility of centralized SC-PACT as a rural health delivery model; 3) primary and select specialty care providers’ perceived acceptability through telehealth; 4) primary and select specialty care providers’ perceived acceptability of care coordination agreement and e-consult system; and 5) the feasibility of increased non-VA care allowing for co-managed specialty care of rural-residing veterans (e.g., VA Choice). Congratulations to Dr. Solimeo on securing funds to identify potential innovative health care delivery models for Iowa’s unique population.