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Telemedicine bills increase access to virtual care for injured workers



The Covid-19 pandemic brought medical services into American homes, and even beyond the pandemic, telemedicine is here to stay. To meet residents' needs and secure access to health care, state lawmakers saw over 1,000 telemedicine-related bills filed by 2021, according to The Patient Advocate Pharmacy.

In a new white paper from PAP, Developments in Telemedicine Amongst. states 2021, about 76% of US hospital systems say they use telemedicine services on a routine basis. When it comes to employee compensation, over a third of industry leaders said that telemedicine will have a huge impact on the industry over the next 5-10 years. That effect has already occurred, as telemedicine appointments increased by 91

% in claiming workers' compensation from March to April 2020.

In response to the demand for virtual visits, employees' benefits to employees invested heavily in new technical systems, PAP found. Across the healthcare industry, 89% of executives say they are now investing significantly in telemedicine capabilities.

To meet the growing demand and need for telemedicine, more than 1,000 telemedicine-related bills were filed in U.S. states in 2021 that sought to expand access to their respective states temporarily or permanently. These bills also addressed the needs of injured workers, the PAP said.

With regard to workers' compensation, all states except Arkansas now allow telemedicine to be used in some capacity. Before 2020, that figure was less than half. Since the pandemic, these states have either added a telemedicine alternative or expanded their use for worker injuries. In addition, more than 30 states included updated codes of conduct for telecommunications health services in their employee compensation fee schedules.

The PAP states that telemedicine legislation that dominated legislative circles in 2021 is likely to continue in 2022 and virtual care will become the norm for more health care sectors.


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