Telehealth allows information-sharing and clinical care at a distance via telecommunication and information technologies. While telehealth promises to increase access for underserved populations (particularly those in rural areas), roadblocks are slowing widespread availability. These roadblocks have created disparities that are most acute in rural areas, and for racial minorities, the elderly, and those with low levels of educational attainment. The success of telehealth relies on having reliable, high-quality broadband access, facilitating interstate licensing for providers and parity in reimbursement for telehealth. However, due to various structural barriers, telehealth is not being adopted as quickly in rural areas, where it is most needed. We describe broadband access by state, state adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compacts (IMLCs), which facilitates the practice of telehealth across states, and state adoption of telehealth parity laws. We discuss each of these in turn and provide policy recommendations.


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pp. 1546-1556
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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