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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 state-wide laws and regulations regarding telehealth reimbursement. Other information was retrieved using: (1) LexisNexis database, (2) Westlaw database, and (3) retrieval from legislative websites, historical documents, and contacting state officials.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 6 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 thirteen 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 determining policy effectiveness across states.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article originally published in Telemedicine and e-Health, available at doi: 10.1089/tmj.2017.0016.



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