Telehealth visits dropped to 21% of ambulatory visits in July, Epic research says

Although telehealth visits increased 300-fold in the early days of the pandemic, they are now flattening out across the U.S., according to data published by the Epic Health Research Network.

The data includes information from 37 healthcare organizations representing 203 hospitals and 3,513 clinics seeing patients from all 50 states.

Five key findings:

1. EHR data shows telehealth volumes peaked in mid-April, when 69 percent of all visits were virtual. In July, telehealth comprised 21.2 percent of all ambulatory visits, while 78.8 percent were conducted in office.

2. In the Northeast region, telehealth volumes peaked at 77 percent of all ambulatory visits, but dropped to 25 percent of visits by July.

3. The South had the lowest telehealth adoption. At its zenith, 53 percent of ambulatory visits were telehealth. By July, 13 percent of all ambulatory visits were via telehealth. The South also reported a decrease in office visits in June, but telehealth visits did not increase.

4. In the Western region, telehealth visits peaked in April at around 70 percent to 75 percent of all ambulatory visits, but dropped to around 30 percent by June.

5. In the Midwest, around 70 percent of ambulatory visits were done via telehealth in April. By July, less than 20 percent of ambulatory visits were conducted virtually.

More articles on telehealth:
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5 health IT experts on virtual health solutions in the COVID-19 era and beyond
Tenet California hospitals launch telehealth ER screenings: 5 things to know

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