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Wash. to Study Effects of Telehealth Use on Underserved Communities

The Washington insurance commissioner, state telehealth collaborative, and state health care authority will study proposed methods to measure the impact of audio-only telemedicine on access to health care services for historically underserved communities and geographic areas. The agencies will report findings and make recommendations to the state legislature by November 2023.

The study is called for in state legislation passed in 2021 establishing a permanent audio-only telehealth policy within the state. The legislation broadly expanded the definition of telehealth to include audio-only services, which the state defines as real-time communication between a patient and the provider, for purposes of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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