Telemedicine laws look a little bit different in each and every U.S. state.
Here’s an overview of the general trends in telemedicine policy across the nation.
Click on a state below to read more about its telemedicine laws and policies.
State Policy Landscape
29 U.S. states and Washington DC currently have telemedicine parity laws. Telemedicine parity laws require private payers in that state to reimburse the same way they would for in-person medical treatment. Any time another state passes a telemedicine parity law, it’s cause for celebration for all telemedicine supporters!
Here’s the list of states that currently have a parity law in place:
Eight states have proposed parity laws that are waiting for further action:
The number of states with telemedicine parity laws has doubled in only the past three years. And with an additional 8 states that have parity laws pending, telemedicine parity for private payers will likely be a nationwide phenomenon in the next few years.
Private payers may have additional guidelines and restrictions for telemedicine services that vary state-to-state. Visit our page on private payers and telemedicine reimbursement for more information.
Almost all U.S. states (except Connecticut and Rhode Island) offer some form of coverage for telemedicine under state Medicaid programs. Some state Medicaid programs offer broad coverage for telemedicine, without limits on patient location or eligible providers. Other states cover telemedicine, but have a long list of restrictions.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) recently released a comprehensive report on state Medicaid coverage for telemedicine.
Here are some of top things to know:
- 48 state Medicaid programs cover telemedicine
- 24 states cover telehealth for state employee plans
- 24 states and DC have no specific requirements for the patient location
- 25 states recognize the patient home as an originating site
- 82% of U.S. states cover telemedicine state-wide, with no restrictions on distance between provider and patient
- 15 states and DC don’t have liminations on which healthcare provider can do telemedicine
While the ATA report found there’s still plenty of room for growth, the U.S. is trending toward broader coverage for telemedicine. The ATA was also careful to point out that with all the new policies coming through, some of the state Medicaid programs haven’t quite caught up – or updated their policy handbooks yet. That’s why it’s always a good idea to contact your state Medicaid program and verify the telemedicine guidelines as you’re getting started.
Want to read more about Medicaid & Telemedicine? Check out our Medicaid page.
Informed Patient Consent
In some states, providers have to get a patient’s informed consent before doing a telemedicine visit. This requirement is sometimes stated within the state Medicaid program, and sometimes within the state administrative codes.
Currently, 27 states have a specific telemedicine informed consent requirement. See if your state is one of them by clicking on the map at the top of the page!
Interstate Medical Licensing
The idea of interstate medical licensing has gained some traction in recent years as more telemedicine providers want to expand their reach and consult patients in other states. According to the ATA, Maryland, New York, and Virginia (plus DC) are the only states that currently allow licensure reciprocity from bordering states.
Additionally, Alabama, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas permit a conditional or telemedicine license to out-of-state physicians.
In another move to breakdown the licensure barrier to telemedicine, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) recently created the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which would streamline the out-of-state licensing process for providers in any of the participating states. So far, 11 states have joined the compact and the FSMB is currently working on implementing the process to make the Compact a reality. You can read more about the Compact here.
Stay tuned for licensing policy updates by following @eVisit and @AmericanTelemed!