WASHINGTON – For the first time since 2014, all Medicaid agencies cover some form of telemedicine, according to an updated report from the American Telemedicine Association.
In 2017, all states allow coverage of telemedicine to some degree, compared to 24 states in 2005, the ATA found.
“These reports show that insurers, state lawmakers and Medicaid agencies see telemedicine and other digital health platforms as affordable and convenient solutions to bridge the provider shortage gap and enhance access to quality health care service,” said Latoya Thomas, director of the State Policy Resource Center at the ATA, in a statement.
Furthermore, the report found that Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia have adopted policies that improved coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine-provided services since 2016. On the flip side, Delaware, South Carolina and Washington, D.C., have either lowered telemedicine coverage or adopted policies further restricting telemedicine coverage.
Collectively, however, states are removing unnecessary requirements and embracing telemedicine as an appropriate way to deliver medical services nationwide, according to another report from the ATA.
As a result of changing board guidance and regulation for telemedicine when compared to in-person practice, states like Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana have made significant improvements for health providers, while Texas continues to earn the lowest grade in the country.