Interstate Telemedicine for Urologic Cancer Care.
The Journal of urology
PURPOSE: US states eased licensing restrictions on telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing interstate use. As waivers expire, optimal uses of telemedicine must be assessed to inform policy, legislation, and clinical care. We assessed whether telemedicine visits provided the same patient experience as in-person visits, stratified by in- vs out-of-state residence, and examined the financial burden.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients seen in person and via telemedicine for urologic cancer care at a major regional cancer center received a survey after their first appointment (August 2019-June 2022) on satisfaction with care, perceptions of communication during their visit, travel time, travel costs, and days of work missed.
RESULTS: Surveys were completed for 1058 patient visits (N = 178 in-person, N = 880 telemedicine). Satisfaction rates were high for all visit types, both interstate and in-state care (mean score 60.1-60.8 [maximum 63],
CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine appointments may increase access for rural-residing patients with cancer. Satisfaction outcomes among patients with urologic cancer receiving interstate care were similar to those of patients cared for in state; costs were markedly lower. Extending interstate exemptions beyond COVID-19 licensing waivers would permit continued delivery of high-quality urologic cancer care to rural-residing patients.
Gadzinski AJ, Dwyer EM, Reynolds J, Stewart B, Abarro I, Wolff EM, et al Interstate telemedicine for urologic cancer care. J Urol. 2023 Oct 13:101097JU0000000000003749. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000003749. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37831635.