Telehealth follow-up consultations following an emergency department visit were associated with 28 more return trips to the emergency room, and nearly 11 more return hospital admissions per 1,000 patients, compared with in-person follow-up appointments, UCLA research has found.

The findings, published in JAMA Network Open, held true even when the researchers controlled for the seriousness of patients’ conditions, their other medical conditions and sociodemographic factors.

One of the first studies to link telemedicine with these negative results, the research is particularly timely because of ongoing discussions among policymakers and insurers about whether and in what situations telemedicine appointments should be reimbursed.

Read the full news release on the UCLA Health website.