Fulfilling the Promise of Telemedicine: A Case Study of South Carolina
Objective: Telemedicine offers one solution for improving rural health disparities. In this study, we investigated components of sustainable telemedicine programs. Methods: Using case study methods, we analyzed documents, legal records, and public artifacts and conducted 11 interviews with telemedicine experts and stakeholders. Propositions included: (1) factors impacting successful telemedicine service implementation, and (2) telemedicine acceptability and feasibility, which guided data analysis (eg, coding, pattern-matching) to identify themes. Results: Relationship-based collaboration and legal understanding, of telemedicine practice across state borders laws and HIPPA, were critical for telemedicine interventions. Reaching rural audiences and ensuring program sustainability necessitated understanding insurance requirements and Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement for telepresenter and referral site requirements. Conclusions: Findings suggest that collaboration and legal understanding improve telemedicine program sustainability. We offer recommendations to develop and sustain telemedicine programs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2019
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