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Telemedicine is generally described as the use of communication equipment to link health care practitioners and patients in different locations.  This technology is used by health care providers for many reasons, including increased cost efficiency, reduced transportation expenses, improved patient access to specialists and mental health providers, improved quality of care, and better communication among providers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not formally defined telemedicine for the Medicaid program, and Medicaid law does not recognize telemedicine as a distinct service. Nevertheless, Medicaid reimbursement for services furnished through telemedicine applications is available, at the state's option, as a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional ways of providing medical care (e.g., face-to-face consultations or examinations). At least 18 states are allowing reimbursement for services provided via telemedicine for reasons that include improved access to specialists for rural communities and reduced transportation costs.



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Page Last Modified: 12/14/2005 12:00:00 AM
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