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SMFM Special Statement: Telemedicine in obstetrics—quality and safety considerations

The frequency of telemedicine encounters has increased dramatically in recent years. This review summarizes the literature regarding the safety and quality of telemedicine for pregnancy-related services, including prenatal care, postpartum care, diabetes mellitus management, medication abortion, lactation support, hypertension management, genetic counseling, ultrasound examination, contraception, and mental health services. For many of these, telemedicine has several potential or proven benefits, including expanded patient access, improved patient satisfaction, decreased disparities in care delivery, and health outcomes at least comparable to those of traditional in-person encounters. Considering these benefits, it is suggested that payers should reimburse providers at least as much for telemedicine as for in-person services. Areas for future research are considered.