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.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.