The Limitations of Poor Broadband Internet Access for Telemedicine Use in Rural America: An Observational Study


Background: Fewer than 10% of U.S. physicians practice in rural communities, where 25% of Americans live (1). Yet, rural Americans may need more health care as they become increasingly older and sicker relative to their urban counterparts (2). Telemedicine has been proposed as a solution to improve access to care (3). Federal and state policymakers have enacted policies to expand telemedicine use among publicly and commercially insured beneficiaries. However, whether Americans with the poorest access to care have the necessary broadband Internet capability to fully benefit from telemedicine is unknown.

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