By Katherine Igoe

May 1, 2017

 

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Newly published research by Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation

reveals a dramatic growth in the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and

treatment of mental health disorders in rural areas, but strikingly uneven

distribution of services across states.

 

The results, published in the May issue of Health Affairs, stem from

analysis of telemedicine use among Medicare beneficiaries nationwide over10

years.

 

The study shows an average 45 percent jump per year in telemedicine visits

between 2004 and 2014, among rural patients, with striking variation across

states. Four states had no such visits in 2014, while in nine states, there

were more than 25 telemedicine visits per 100 patients with serious mental

illness.