Telehealth Utilization Falls 16 Percent Nationally from January to February 2021
NEW YORK, May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Telehealth claim lines1 fell 15.7 percent nationally, decreasing from 7 percent of medical claim lines in January 2021 to 5.9 percent in February, according to FAIR Health's Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. It was the first month-to-month drop in national telehealth utilization since September 2020. Telehealth usage also declined in all four US census regions, with the greatest drop in the West, where the decrease was 18.3 percent. The data represent the privately insured population, excluding Medicare and Medicaid.
In February 2021, COVID-19 No Longer among Top Five Telehealth Diagnoses Nationally, according to FAIR Health
Another change from January to February 2021 was the disappearance of COVID-19 from the top five telehealth diagnoses. In January, COVID-19 had been on that list nationally and in all regions except the Midwest, but in February, it was absent from the list nationally and in every region. The change may have been related to the national drop in COVID-19 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February.
In the Midwest, substance use disorders joined the list of top five telehealth diagnoses in February 2021; the same diagnosis had been on the list in the Northeast since January. Also in February, developmental disorders joined the top five telehealth diagnoses in the South, and diabetes mellitus, as well as endocrine and metabolic disorders, joined the top five in the West.
Mental health conditions continued to be the number one telehealth diagnosis nationally and in every region. Within that category, there was one change of note in February 2021: Post-traumatic stress disorder, previously absent from the list of top five mental health diagnoses nationally and in every region, became the fifth most common mental health diagnosis in the Midwest, displacing bipolar disorder.
In the Northeast and West, CPT®2 90833, psychotherapy performed with evaluation and management visit, 30 minutes, joined the list of top five telehealth procedure codes in February 2021. Although other psychothrapy codes were on the national and regional lists of top five procedure codes, CPT 90833 appeared only in the Northeast and West.
About the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: "As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, FAIR Health's Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker continues to monitor the evolution of telehealth in that context. This is one of many ways we pursue our mission of bringing transparency to healthcare information."
For the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, click here.
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About FAIR Health
1 A claim line is an individual service or procedure listed on an insurance claim.
SOURCE FAIR Health
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