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How states can encourage web-based health care in hospitals
Date:2/4/2014

of the key lessons for policymakers is that broad-based reimbursement laws seem more effective than narrowly focused ones that might reimburse individual telehealth approaches such as live video," Adler-Milstein said. "None of the narrow reimbursement policies were powerful enough to have an effect."

Another policy that may play a role in encouraging or discouraging telehealth adoption is whether out-of-state practitioners can do business in a state without a special license. Six states prohibit out-of-state Medicaid practitioners from remotely treating patients in their borders without an additional license. The researchers found that hospitals in those states were almost 40 percent less likely to use telehealth strategies.

Adler-Milstein and colleagues were surprised to find that telehealth use was common in very competitive markets.

"It seems to be something hospitals use to differentiate themselves," Adler-Milstein said. "People often think about rural areas when they think about telehealth. And we did find that hospitals in rural areas were more likely to adopt these strategies, but the fact that adoption was just as likely in competitive markets signifies that it's not just about access. It's about using technology to lower operating costs and deliver care more efficiently."

Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota, Maine and Virginia had the highest proportion of participating hospitals, while Rhode Island, Utah, Alabama, Mississippi and Illinois had the lowest proportion.


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Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
ncmoore@umich.edu
734-647-7087
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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