The National Center for Policy Analysis recently released a ranking of all 50 states as well as Washington D.C. on their telemedicine regulations for physician encounters. On a letter grade scale of A through F, from best to worst, the source noted that most of the states ranked a B, though this category only had two more states than the A category.
Texas and Alabama call for follow up visits with patients after telemedicine sessions.
According to this document, only three states placed in the lowest category: Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. Some notable trends tie these lower performers together.
For instance, Arkansas and Texas only allow telemedicine encounters among patients who have existing relationships with their physicians. In addition, Texas and Alabama call for follow up visits with patients in the office after the telemedicine session takes place.
Particular attention was given to Texas, which listed the lowest, despite some significant telemedical advances among state prisons. Research associate Jennifer Vermeulen, author of the report, noted the negative effect this change is having, given the previous positive moves Texas has made toward better health care reform.
Studies have shown the effectiveness of telemedicine in reducing visits to emergency care. One study published this month showed a correlation between lower emergency department visits and greater engagement with telemedicine options in senior living communities.
"Today, rapid population growth is putting great strain on the state's health care system and that strain will only increase over the next few decades," Vermeulen writes. "In the face of this challenge, the Texas Medical Board, instead of embracing an innovative technology that increases patient access to medical care, has taken a strong stand against telemedicine."
To craft a workable strategy for adopting telemedicine, organizations need to be compliant and well-versed in research. Regulatory compliance consulting specialists will provide the necessary assistance to stick with strong policies.