Telehealth utilization fell 10% nationally from Could to June 2021 after a month of stability, in line with FAIR Well being’s Month-to-month Telehealth Regional Tracker.
Telehealth made up 5% of medical declare traces in Could, and solely 4.5% in June. Telehealth declare traces fell throughout all 4 U.S. Census areas as properly, particularly within the Northeast. Utilization dropped practically 12% in that area from Could to June.
Psychological well being situations dominate the diagnoses obtained through telehealth throughout the Census areas and nationally, making up greater than 61% of telehealth declare traces in June. This was additionally a rise from Could, when psychological well being situations made up simply over 60% of telehealth declare traces.
Acute respiratory illnesses and infections made up practically 3% of telehealth declare traces, rising to the second-highest telehealth analysis in June. Joint and delicate tissue illnesses and points was quantity three.
WHY IT MATTERS
Telehealth use shot up through the COVID-19 pandemic as sufferers and suppliers took care exterior the workplace to keep away from in-person interactions.
In accordance with a FAIR Well being report final yr, the telehealth share of medical declare traces elevated 3,552% from August 2019 to August 2020.
Now suppliers, insurers and policymakers try to determine the way forward for telehealth, together with reimbursement questions and the right way to handle high quality issues.
“Digital care has performed a very essential position in addressing psychological well being through the pandemic,” Dr. William Lopez, nationwide director for digital care at Cigna, informed Healthcare Finance Information in Could.
“Given the benefit, comfort and accessibility of digital care – and the extra privateness that digital behavioral healthcare presents – we count on digital care to stay in excessive demand post-pandemic.”
THE LARGER TREND
Telehealth utilization has usually been falling in 2021. FAIR Well being reported three months of decline in the beginning of this yr earlier than utilization stabilized in Could. Telehealth utilization really rose 2% nationally from April to Could earlier than the subsequent month’s droop.
A report launched by Trilliant Well being in June discovered telehealth use spiked in April 2020 and has been petering out from there, although there are nonetheless some teams, like youthful ladies, who put it to use extra constantly.
However some suppliers and insurers argue telehealth isn’t going away, and the way forward for healthcare will probably be a mixture of in-person and digital care.
“There’s going to be a hybrid method. You possibly can’t simply begin with I’m 100% digital, and that’s how it will be. It’s going to be a hybrid method,” Dr. Nick Patel, chief digital officer at Prima Well being and vice chair for innovation and medical innovation for UCertainly, stated throughout a HIMSS21 panel.
“There are sufferers who’re going to have to come back into the apply, after which there are sufferers who’re wholesome and are maintained, [who] may be managed digitally.”