The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has released two reports—with uneven results— grading each state on an A-to-F scale based on telemedicine reimbursement and physician practice standards.
The first report reviewed and compared telemedicine coverage and reimbursement standards for every state in the U.S. based on 13 indicators related to coverage and reimbursement. The analysis revealed that decades of evidence-based research highlighting positive clinical outcomes and increasing telemedicine utilization has been met by a mix of reactions from those who develop state-based policy.
With regard to payment and service delivery options that enable telemedicine adoption, seven states received the highest possible composite score, suggesting a supportive policy landscape that accommodates telemedicine adoption. Those states with the highest scores include: Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Virginia. States receiving the lowest possible composite score include: Connecticut, Iowa and Rhode Island, according to the report.
The second report reviewed and compared physician practice standards and licensure for telemedicine for every state in the U.S. The review of state laws and medical board standards regarding telemedicine revealed 23 states and D.C. received the highest possible composite score suggesting a supportive policy landscape that accommodates telemedicine adoption and usage. Alabama received a C, the lowest composite score of all the states.
“We hope these reports serve a dual purpose: to showcase the states that are doing an excellent job when it comes to telemedicine, and to serve as a wake-up call to those who are failing to extend quality and affordable care to the residents of their state,” Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA, said in a statement. “We hope that states will respond by streamlining policies to improve medical practice rules, licensure, healthcare quality, and reduce costs through accelerated telemedicine adoption.”