Does Telemedicine Save Lives? Evidence on the Effect of Telemedicine Parity Laws on Mortality Rates

34 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2018

See all articles by Angela K. Dills

Angela K. Dills

Western Carolina University

Jiajia Chen

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 25, 2018

Abstract

Between 1995 and 2018, just over half of the U.S. states enacted laws requiring private insurance plans cover medical care provided remotely using various technologies. These telemedicine parity laws likely increase health care access, particularly in areas with few providers, by granting patients access to specialists or primary care providers located elsewhere. The effect of these laws on health outcomes is ambiguous. We estimate the effect of telemedicine parity laws on mortality rates of all causes and for causes of death due to conditions more frequently treated with telemedicine. We find declines in mortality rates post-parity laws, driven by decreases in ischemic heart disease deaths. Our results suggest that relaxing current telemedicine regulations in programs such as Medicare might improve patient outcomes.

Keywords: Telehealth, Telemedicine, Parity Laws, Mortality Rates

JEL Classification: i13

Suggested Citation

Dills, Angela K. and Chen, Jiajia, Does Telemedicine Save Lives? Evidence on the Effect of Telemedicine Parity Laws on Mortality Rates (October 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3272821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3272821

Angela K. Dills (Contact Author)

Western Carolina University ( email )

Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States
8282273329 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.wcu.edu/akdills

Jiajia Chen

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

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