(The Center Square) – A study finds that Illinois and many other states are showing a lack of urgency in updating telehealth laws.
The report from the Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute, and Pioneer Institute graded every state’s telehealth laws in four areas, including allowing patients to access telehealth across state lines without licensing getting in the way. Illinois received a poor grade in that area.
Vittorio Nastasi, director of criminal justice policy, said telehealth was critical during the pandemic, especially in certain areas of Illinois and the rest of the country where health care facilities are scarce.
“That is most often a problem for people who live in rural communities without enough providers in their local area,” Nastasi said.
Illinois scored well in two areas: patients can access all forms of telehealth, and patients can start a telehealth relationship by any mode.
A law passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2021 requires state-regulated health insurance plans to cover and reimburse for telehealth services at the same level as in-person care.
The report said laws in New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia failed to meet best practices in all categories.
“A surprising number of states have only made minor tweaks to their telehealth laws,” said Josh Archambault, co-author of the policy brief and senior fellow at the Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute. “Lawmakers must refocus their efforts to ensure their states have clear laws and guidelines in place so that patients and providers can benefit from today’s telehealth services and future innovations.”