Telehealth claim lines jump 3,000% in 1 year

Nationwide, telehealth claim lines skyrocketed 3,060 percent from October 2019 to October 2020, according to private healthcare claims data released Jan. 6 by the healthcare research organization Fair Health.

National telehealth-related medical claim lines jumped from 5.07 percent in September 2020 to 5.61 percent in October 2020, marking a 10.6 percent increase. The data represent the privately insured population and excludes Medicare and Medicaid, FAIR Health said.

Telehealth trends regionally echoed the national trends over the same period.

COVID-19 is likely the reason telehealth usage increased from March to October of 2020. Factors including state bans on elective surgeries  and short-term bumps in infection rates may explain month-over-month increases during the pandemic, Fair Health said.

Fair Health also found that in October 2020, exposure to communicable diseases was among the top five telehealth diagnoses by volume, unlike in January to October 2019 or September 2020. The bump in COVID-19 cases in October likely explains this trend, Fair Health said.

More articles on telehealth: 
Dartmouth-Hitchcock rolls out geriatric telemedicine emergency care, training to 4 rural hospitals
Massachusetts mandates continued insurance coverage of telehealth after pandemic: 3 details
UCLA Health develops triage process to identify when telehealth is appropriate for care delivery


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