Telehealth utilization on the upswing

Telehealth utilization experienced significant growth nationally and in all U.S. census regions during November 2023, according to a new report from FAIR Health's Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker.

National telehealth utilization increased by 6.3%, rising from 4.8% of medical claim lines in October to 5.1% in November. The most substantial regional increase occurred in the West, with a 7.5% rise in the percentage of medical claim lines. The South experienced a 5.3% increase, the Northeast saw a 5.2% rise and the Midwest recorded a 2.9% increase. 

Asynchronous telehealth trends

The national top five asynchronous telehealth diagnoses in November mirrored those of October, according to the report, with hypertension retaining the top position. Nationally, the percentage of asynchronous telehealth claim lines for hypertension decreased from 24.3% in October to 23.3% in November.

Mental health conditions, diabetes mellitus and urinary tract infections ranked third, fourth and fifth nationally and saw declines in asynchronous telehealth claim lines. 

On the contrary, acute respiratory diseases and infections in second place continued their upward trend, rising from 15.8% in October to 19.6% in November.

Audio-only telehealth on the rise

In November 2023, the utilization of audio-only telehealth services witnessed a national increase of 5.4% in rural areas and 6.4% in urban areas. Urban areas displayed a greater increase than rural areas in all regions except the Northeast. 

Telehealth cost

For November, the report analyzed the cost of telehealth for the treatment of speech, language, voice, communication and/or hearing processing disorder. Nationally, the median charge for this service was $130.66, with a median allowed amount of $78.29. 

The report found regional variations in costs, with the Midwest recording the highest median charge amount at $150 and the Northeast having the lowest at $125. 

The median allowed amount ranged from $93.48 in the Midwest to $69.37 in the South.

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