Outpatient visits were stable in late 2020, despite COVID-19 surge

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Outpatient care visits per week in the U.S. remained relatively stable over the last three months of 2020 and unchanged from the week of March 1, despite a COVID-19 surge over November and December, according to new research released Feb. 22 by Harvard University, healthcare technology company Phreesia and healthcare policy research firm the Commonwealth Fund. 

However, outpatient office visits were 5 percent to 6 percent lower than the typical pattern seen in winters of 2016 to 2019, the analysis found.  

The findings are based on examining data for the more than 50,000 providers that are Phreesia clients.

Researchers also found a shift back to telemedicine toward the end of 2020.

Outpatient telemedicine use fell to about 6 percent into October but rose to more than 8 percent of visits by the end of December, the analysis shows. 

Read more about the analysis and the methodology used here


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