Experts say telemedicine has the ability to improve access to care and ease the physician shortage. However, due to physician licensing and other regulations, its expansion across the country has been hindered-though not evenly. State laws affecting telemedicine delivery vary widely state-to-state. The American Telemedicine Association has “analyzed these laws and regulations and has issued each state grades for coverage, reimbursement policies and physician licensure requirements” to show which states are doing an excellent job when it comes to telemedicine and to also serve as a wake-up call to those states that are failing to extend quality and affordable care to the residents of their state.
Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire are among the states that received top marks; these states have laws requiring private insurance to reimburse telemedicine services at the same rate as in-person services and also scored highly for Medicaid telemedicine coverage and feature few provider or location requirements for reimbursement. Connecticut, Iowa and Rhode Island all received failing grades for coverage and reimbursement policies. In these states, there is no Medicaid coverage for telemedicine or parity laws in place.
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