States Expanding Telehealth Across the Country

6/18/2019

NCSL press release

New NCSL Report Focuses on Key Topics in Telehealth

Denver— Nearly all states provide some form of coverage and reimbursement for services provided through telehealth in their Medicaid program. And a growing number, 39 states and the District of Columbia, have some type of private payer policy, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The report, “Increasing Access to Health Care Through Telehealth,” discusses key topics in telehealth being addressed in state legislatures. Among those are reimbursement, licensure and provider practice standards.

Telehealth is a tool that capitalizes on technology to provide health care and other health-related services remotely. This includes communication and education between providers as well as between patients and providers. It is widely regarded as a help in providing services to rural areas of the country.

The report also outlines some policy options legislators may wish to explore when examining telehealth policies. A few of those include:

  • Looking at reimbursement policies for Medicaid and private payers.
  • Examining current workforce or access gaps and considering ways to facilitate coverage through telehealth.
  • Examining current statutes and regulations to see if clarity is needed on telehealth policies.
  • Considering which policies might facilitate telehealth in a way that fits the needs and context of the state.

Read the full report, “Increasing Access to Health Care Through Telehealth.”

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NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.