New Buckeye Institute Brief Demonstrates Benefits of Telehealth and Other Reforms

Mar 22, 2021

Columbus, OH – On Tuesday, The Buckeye Institute released Improving Ohio Health Care with Freedom, which demonstrates the benefits of expanding access to telehealth and lifting unnecessary licensing restrictions on medical professionals. In making these modest reforms, policymakers can make health care more accessible, particularly for elderly Ohioans and those in living in rural areas. 

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio joined many states in removing restrictions on telehealth services and allowing medical professionals to treat patients. Unfortunately, once Ohio’s emergency order is lifted, many Ohioans will lose these benefits and will find it more difficult to access medical care,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, and the co-author of Improving Ohio Health Care with Freedom. “Reducing regulatory burdens and enhancing patient and provider choice through telehealth will make Ohio’s health care better, more accessible, and more affordable.”

In the paper, Hederman, and his co-author James B. Woodward, Ph.D., also noted that adopting several modest reforms, including telehealth, can significantly improve Ohio’s national standing and ranking in the Mercatus Center’s Healthcare Openness and Access Project (HOAP)— which measures how easily patients can access health care—from a sub-par 36th to an above-average 20th in the nation. 

Hederman and Woodward urged Ohio policymakers to permanently adopt telehealth expansion and to lift the unnecessary licensing restrictions that prohibit doctors and nurses from treating their patients. 

Hederman continued, “The COVID-19 pandemic has already spurred policymakers to relax some regulatory restrictions temporarily and, after nearly a year under the relaxed rules, those decisions have proven their worth and the relaxed rules should be adopted permanently.”

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