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Telehealth Utilization Falls 16 Percent Nationally from January to February 2021
[May 04, 2021]

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
Launched in May 2020 as a free service, the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker uses FAIR Health data to track how telehealth is evolving from month to month. An interactive map of the four US census regions allows the user to view an infographic on telehealth in a specific month in the nation as a whole or in individual regions. Each infographic shows month-to-month changes in volume of telehealth claim lines, top five telehealth procedure codes, top five telehealth diagnoses (or diagnostic categories) and top five granular diagnoses within the most common diagnostic category.

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.

Follow us on Twitter @FAIRHealth

About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. It is dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health possesses the nation's largest collection of private healthcare claims data, which includes over 33 billion claim records and is growing at a rate of over 2 billion claim records a year. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data representing the experience of all individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health includes among the private claims data in its database, data on Medicare Advantage enrollees. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytic reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payors and other authorized users. FAIR Health's systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data have been incorporated in statutes and regulations around the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers' compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serve as an official reference point in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against bills for surprise out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish, which enables consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offers a rich educational platform on health insurance. An English/Spanish mobile app offers the same educational platform in a concise format and links to the cost estimation tools. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Disclosure, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefit News and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. FAIR Health also is named a top resource for patients in Dr. Marty Makary's book The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It and Elisabeth Rosenthal's book An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back. For more information on FAIR Health, visit

Rachel Kent
Senior Director of Marketing, Outreach and Communications
FAIR Health

1 A claim line is an individual service or procedure listed on an insurance claim.
2 CPT © 2020 American Medical Association (AMA). All rights reserved.


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