Date of Award
COVID-19, Telehealth, Healthcare Policy
Over the past two decades, telehealth has become an increasingly common form of healthcare delivery in the United States. As healthcare providers continue to invest more into telehealth, the capabilities of virtual care have expanded rapidly. This investment into telehealth has been encouraged by the important benefits it has been proven to provide, such as cost reduction and increased accessibility. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for telehealth reached new heights as people were forced to quarantine indoors and avoid in person contact for extended periods of time. In order to satisfy this rise in demand, many states enacted new policies aimed at increasing telehealth usage, such as private payer laws, licensure compacts and payment parity laws. While some of these policies were implemented permanently, some were put into place with expiration dates. Therefore, it is important to understand how effective these policies were. This paper uses panel data from FAIR Health, the US Census, the Center for Connected Health Policy, and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis in order to analyze how effectively the three policies mentioned above increased telehealth usage among states and age groups. Using OLS regression and interaction terms, I intend to estimate the effects of each policy on telehealth usage within individual states and among five different age groups. This study finds that the implementation of private payer laws increases telehealth usage within an individual state, while licensure compacts and payment parity policies do not. It also finds that all three policies increase telehealth usage among individual age groups (except for licensure compacts with 19-35 year olds).
Hartman, Cole, "The Effect of State Level Policies on Telehealth Usage During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2023). Honors Theses. 2716.