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Fulfilling the Promise of Telemedicine: A Case Study of South Carolina

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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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Keywords: HEALTH DISPARITIES; HIPAA; RURAL HEALTH; TELEHEALTH; TELEMEDICINE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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