Telehealth use stabilizing at levels 38 times higher than before pandemic

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In April 2020, overall telehealth use for office visits and outpatient care was 78 times higher than two months prior because of the surge caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and shift to virtual care methods. 

In a July 9 report, McKinsey & Co. analyzed the progress of telehealth since the initial COVID-19 spike last year as well as consumerism and provider adoption levels. 

Five report insights: 

1. Telehealth use has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than before the pandemic; after initially spiking to more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurring via telehealth in April 2020, telehealth use levels mostly have stabilized, ranging from 13 to 17 percent across all specialties. 

2. The highest specialties using telehealth are psychiatry and substance use treatment, at 50 percent and 30 percent, respectively. 

3. Consumer and provider perceptions and usage of telehealth have dropped slightly since its peak in spring 2020. 

4. Between 40 and 60 percent of consumers have expressed interest in a set of broader virtual health solutions, such as digital front-door or lower-cost, virtual-first health plans. 

5. Investments in virtual care and digital health have skyrocketed, with three times the level of venture capitalist digital health investment in 2020 than in 2017. 

 

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