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Ensuring Secure, Audio-Only Telehealth During the Pandemic and Beyond


Brian Eastwood

Telephone visits surged last year and are likely here to stay. Best practices will keep audio-only telehealth visits secure, but organizations should watch for potential fraud and identity management issues.

It’s no secret that hospitals and health systems around the country quickly pivoted from in-person to virtual care in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. But while many organizations focused on video visits, Washington, D.C.-based Unity Health Care turned its attention to audio-only telehealth.

The federally qualified health center (FQHC) sees about 100,000 patients per year, primarily from underserved populations. The organization was founded in 1985 as Health Care for the Homeless Project.

“Access to audio telemedicine has been critical to providing services during the pandemic,” says Dr. Andrew...

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