What telehealth claims reveal in the times of COVID-19

It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the shift in healthcare from mostly in-person care to predominantly virtual care. With the need to free up the hospital spaces for the rising number of COVID-19 and other emergent patients, many providers shifted the follow-up and chronic care to virtual. In addition, many specialist appointments are now conducted virtually.

This rapid change of treatment delivery in just a matter of months has made a significant impact on the different aspects of telehealth.

Telehealth impact study gives us a detailed insight into the telehealth claims data during the COVID-19 pandemic by observing different trends in numbers of telehealth visit claims, the distribution of in-state vs out-of-state claims, and the distribution of claims by clinical classification of primary diagnosis. The analyzed data includes millions of claims per month, including private insurances and a limited number of Medicare and Medicaid claims.

The key takeaways from the study are as follows:

  • The total number of telehealth claims rose 24x from February to April of 2020.
  • Almost 50% of all health claims were telehealth claims of April of 2020.
  • Behavioral and Mental health is the leading category in primary diagnosis for telehealth, almost 5x the next major category.

The study shows that all states experienced considerable growth in the number of telehealth claims in 2020 and that this number reached its peak in April of 2020 when many of the non-urgent care providers’ offices were closed. In the following months, the number of such claims started dropping due to many providers opening their doors or finding ways to combine telehealth with face-to-face visits.

To learn more about the study and view the findings visit https://c19hcc.org/telehealth/impact-home/

For a fully interactive report visit https://c19hcc.org/telehealth

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