On telemedicine disparities: 4 key findings

A new report from the American Telemedicine Association grading states' telemedicine coverage and reimbursement gave just five states and the District of Columbia A grades. Two states, Connecticut and Rhode Island, received Fs.

In its analysis of each state's telehealth maturity, the ATA found a variety of disparities hindering the advancement of telemedicine across the country.

Here are four key findings from their report.

  • Twenty-four states have telemedicine parity laws for private payers. Out of those 24 stats, 16 of them and Washington D.C., have policies authorizing statewide coverage without restrictions placed on providers or technologies.
  • More than half of the states in the country, 27 of them, received failing grades for either not having a parity law or for having "numerous artificial barriers to parity," according to the report.
  • Almost all states, 48, have some type of telemedicine coverage, though the extent of coverage for states varies. New Mexico, Mississippi, Maine and Delaware received the highest grades for Medicaid coverage. Connecticut and Rhode Island are the only two states whose Medicaid plans do not cover telemedicine services.
  • States offering Medicaid coverage for telemedicine services are expanding their allowances of technological applications. For example, 24 states and D.C., do not require a specific patient location such as a physicians office or hospital as a condition for coverage, and 25 states recognize a patient's home as an originating site.

More articles on telemedicine:

UnitedHealthcare to expand telemedicine coverage for 20 million patients
Teladoc to file for IPO: 5 things to know
Anthem expands telemedicine offerings in Connecticut

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