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Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 Dec;37(12):1931-1939. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05116.

Population-Level Estimates Of Telemedicine Service Provision Using An All-Payer Claims Database.

Author information

1
Jiani Yu ( yuxx0344@umn.edu ) is a PhD candidate in the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.
2
Pamela J. Mink is the director of health services research, Health Economics Program, Minnesota Department of Health, in St. Paul.
3
Peter J. Huckfeldt is an assistant professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.
4
Stefan Gildemeister is the state health economist and director of the Health Economics Program, Minnesota Department of Health.
5
Jean M. Abraham is the Wegmiller Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.

Abstract

In recent years state and federal policies have encouraged the use of telemedicine by formalizing payments for it. Telemedicine has the potential to expand access to timely care and reduce costs, relative to in-person care. Using information from the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database, we conducted a population-level analysis of telemedicine service provision in the period 2010-15, documenting variation in provision by coverage type, provider type, and rurality of patient residence. During this period the number of telemedicine visits increased from 11,113 to 86,238, and rates of use varied extensively by coverage type and rurality. In metropolitan areas telemedicine visits were primarily direct-to-consumer services provided by nurse practitioners or physician assistants and covered by commercial insurance. In nonmetropolitan areas telemedicine use was chiefly real-time provider-initiated services delivered by physicians to publicly insured populations. Recent federal and state legislation that expanded coverage and increased provider reimbursement for telemedicine services could lead to expanded use of telemedicine, including novel approaches in new patient populations.

PMID:
30633676
DOI:
10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05116

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