Legal Mapping Analysis of State Telehealth Reimbursement Policies

Kate E. Trout, Sankeerth Rampa, Fernando A. Wilson, Jim P. Stimpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: There exists rapid growth and inconsistency in the telehealth policy environment, which makes it difficult to quantitatively evaluate the impact of telehealth reimbursement and other policies without the availability of a legal mapping database. Introduction: We describe the creation of a legal mapping database of state-level policies related to telehealth reimbursement of healthcare services. Trends and characteristics of these policies are presented. Materials and Methods: Information provided by the Center for Connected Health Policy was used to identify statewide laws and regulations regarding telehealth reimbursement. Other information was retrieved by using: (1) LexisNexis database, (2) Westlaw database, and (3) retrieval from legislative Web sites, historical documents, and contacting state officials. We examined policies for live video, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring (RPM). Results: In the United States, there are 24 states with policies regarding reimbursement for live video transmission. Fourteen states have store-and-forward policies, and six states have RPM-related policies. Mississippi is the only state that requires reimbursement for all three types of telehealth transmission modes. Most states (47 states) have Medicaid policies regarding live video transmission, followed by 37 states for store-and-forward and 20 states for RPM. Only 13 states require that live video will be reimbursed "consistent with" or at the "same rate" as in-person services in their Medicaid program. Discussion: There are no widely accepted telehealth reimbursement policies across states. They contain diverse restrictions and requirements that present complexities in policy evaluation and in determining policy effectiveness across states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-814
Number of pages10
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • legal/legislation
  • policy
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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