National Telehealth Utilization Declined Seven Percent in July 2021
NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second straight month, telehealth utilization declined in July 2021, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. Telehealth utilization, measured as a percentage of all medical claim lines,1 fell 6.7 percent from June to July 2021, decreasing from 4.5 percent of medical claim lines in June to 4.2 percent in July. In the previous month, telehealth utilization fell 10 percent nationally from May to June 2021. The data represent the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid.
In all four US census regions, telehealth claim lines fell from June to July 2021 as a percentage of all medical claim lines just as they did nationally, with the greatest decrease occurring in the South. In that region, telehealth utilization dropped 11.4 percent from June to July 2021.
Mental health conditions remained the top-ranking telehealth diagnosis nationally and in every region, but from June to July 2021 their percentage share of all telehealth claim lines fell nationally and in every region except the Northeast. Nationally, where the share held by mental health conditions dropped from 61.3 percent in June 2021 to 60.7 percent in July, the percentage had been rising every month since January 2021. From June to July 2021, acute respiratory diseases and infections increased as a percentage of all telehealth claim lines nationally and in every region.
From June to July 2021, joint/soft tissue diseases and issues fell in the rankings of telehealth diagnoses nationally and in every region except the West. Nationally, this diagnosis fell from third to fourth place; in the West, it remained in third place. Developmental disorders rose in the rankings nationally and in the Northeast and Midwest, while acute respiratory diseases and infections rose in the rankings in the Midwest, as did skin infections and issues and urinary tract infections in the South.
There were also changes in the top five telehealth procedure codes by utilization. Nationally, from June to July 2021, CPT®2 99214, established patient outpatient visit, total time 30-39 minutes, fell from second to third place, while CPT 99213, established patient outpatient visit, total time 20-29 minutes, rose from third to second place—reversing a change in places that had happened the previous month.
In the Midwest from June to July 2021, CPT 99213 (established patient outpatient visit of 20-29 minutes) rose from fourth to third place, while CPT 90834, 45-minute psychotherapy, fell from third to fourth place.
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 and top five telehealth diagnoses (or diagnostic categories), along with that month’s top five granular diagnoses within the most common diagnostic category.
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker continues to reveal changes in telehealth as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. This is one of many ways we pursue our healthcare transparency mission.”
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 35 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 Dr. 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 fairhealth.org.
Senior Director of Marketing, Outreach and Communications
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.
View original content to download multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-telehealth-utilization-declined-seven-percent-in-july-2021-301395315.html
SOURCE FAIR Health