The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • Licensing Compact Goes Live, Opening Door to Telehealth for Nurses

    mHealth Intelligence

    Licensed nurses in 29 states can now use telehealth to treat patients in other states, under terms of the Enhamced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).  Under the eNLC, overseen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs) in member states can provide care to patients in other states without having to obtain additional licenses. The compact creates an expedited licensing process that gives nurses these privileges as long as they meet 11 uniform licensing requirements.  The eNLC reached its effective date last July, following approval in the 26th state, and set Jan. 19, 2018 as the implementation date.  “Boards of nursing were the first healthcare profession regulatory bodies to develop a model for interstate licensure, and we are looking forward to the implementation of this new phase of nursing regulation,” NCSBN CEO David Benton, RGN, PhD, FFNF, FRCN, FAAN, said in a press release following North Carolina’s approval of the compact last July. “Patient safety was of paramount importance in the development of eNLC leading to the addition of new features found in the provisions of the model legislation.”  This is the second licensing compact to reach its implementation date and the third to be enacted. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for physicians, overseen by the Federation of State Medical Boards, went live last April and is now active in 21 states, with another two states delaying implementation to correct wording issues and another eight states and Guam with legislation pending. 

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  • Telemedicine Tied to Faster ER Care in Rural Areas

    Medical Xpress

    Nicholas M. Mohr, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues measured the impact of emergency department-based telemedicine on the timeliness of care in rural hospitals, as measured by door-to-provider time. They performed a cohort study involving 2,857 emergency department patients who consulted telemedicine and were matched (2:1) to non-telemedicine controls based on age, diagnosis, and hospital.  The researchers found that door-to-provider time was six minutes shorter in telemedicine patients. In 41.7 percent of the encounters, a telemedicine provider was the first to see the patient. In these cases, telemedicine occurred 14.7 minutes earlier than care by local providers. Overall, emergency department length of stay was 40.2 minutes longer for all telemedicine patients. However, emergency department length of stay was 22.1 minutes shorter among patients transferred to other hospitals.  "Future work will focus on the clinical impact of more timely rural emergency department care," write the authors.  Three study authors are employed by the Avera eCARE, which provides emergency department-based telemedicine services.  

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  • Policy Report: The Case Against Telemedicine Parity Laws

    John Locke Foundation

    North Carolina is one of 18 states that do not have a telemedicine parity law, which forces insurance companies to pay health care providers for services treated via telemedicine that are otherwise covered during an in-office visit. While most states have such laws, their unintended consequences perpetuate the worst features of our nation’s health care system. Parity laws may impede the creation of a treatment plan that meets the needs of individual patients, raise costs, and conceal the cost of care from the consumer. Telemedicine is thriving in nonparity states like North Carolina, suggesting that the cost and burdens imposed by telemedicine parity laws would likely exceed any benefit.

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