Telehealth Utilization Grew Nationally in April 2022 after Two Months of Decline, according to FAIR Health's Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker
NEW YORK, July 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In April 2022, COVID-19 returned to the top five telehealth diagnoses nationally for the first time since January, according to FAIR Health's Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. COVID-19 also returned to the list of top five telehealth diagnoses in every US census region except the South; it had been off the list in all four regions (Midwest, Northeast, South and West) since January. The data represent the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid. The reappearance of COVID-19 on the national and regional lists coincided with a rise in COVID-19 cases in April reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also in April 2022, telehealth utilization, as measured by telehealth's share of all medical claim lines, grew nationally and in every region after two months of decline, according to the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker.1 National telehealth utilization increased 6.5 percent, from 4.6 percent of medical claim lines in March to 4.9 percent in April. Regionally, the greatest increase was in the South, where telehealth utilization grew 11.8 percent in April. The rise in telehealth utilization may have been due to the growth in the reported number of COVID-19 cases, which may have led more patients to avoid in-person care.
Various other diagnoses dropped off the lists as the share of COVID-19 diagnoses increased. Nationally, substance use disorders fell off the list; in the Midwest and Northeast, joint/soft tissue diseases and issues did so; and in the West, endocrine and metabolic disorders did so. In all regions and nationally, mental health conditions remained the top-ranking telehealth diagnosis.
The rankings of the top five telehealth specialties did not change nationally or regionally in April 2022 when compared to March 2022, with social worker remaining the top-ranking telehealth specialty in all regions and nationally. But primary care physician increased its percentage share of telehealth claim lines by about one percent nationally and in the Northeast and South.
In April 2022, the rankings of the top five telehealth procedure codes did not change nationally or in any region when compared to the prior two months. The number one telehealth procedure code nationally and in every region remained CPT®2 90837, one-hour psychotherapy.
For April 2022, the Telehealth Cost Corner spotlighted the cost of CPT 90832, 30-minute psychotherapy. Nationally, the median charge amount for this service when rendered via telehealth was $115.40, and the median allowed amount was $64.84.3
About the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker
Launched in May 2020 as a free service, the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker uses FAIR Health data to track how telehealth is evolving from month to month. An interactive map of the four US census regions allows the user to view an infographic on telehealth in a specific month in the nation as a whole or in individual regions. Each infographic shows month-to-month changes in telehealth's percentage of medical claim lines, as well as that month's top five telehealth procedure codes, diagnoses and specialties. Additionally, in the Telehealth Cost Corner, a specific telehealth procedure code is featured, with its median charge amount and median allowed amount.
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: "We welcome sharing these varying windows into telehealth utilization as it continues to evolve. This is one of the many ways we pursue our healthcare transparency mission."
For the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, click here.
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About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. It is dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health possesses the nation's largest collection of private healthcare claims data, which includes over 36 billion claim records and is growing at a rate of over 2 billion claim records a year. FAIR Health licenses its privately billed data and data products—including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics and market indices—to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and healthcare systems, government agencies, researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data representing the experience of all individuals enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health includes among the private claims data in its database, data on Medicare Advantage enrollees. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytic reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payors and other authorized users. FAIR Health's systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data have been incorporated in statutes and regulations around the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers' compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serve as an official reference point in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against bills for surprise out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish, which enables consumers to estimate and plan for their healthcare expenditures and offers a rich educational platform on health insurance. An English/Spanish mobile app offers the same educational platform in a concise format and links to the cost estimation tools. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Disclosure, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefit News and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. FAIR Health also is named a top resource for patients in Dr. Marty Makary's book The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It and Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal's book An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back. For more information on FAIR Health, visit fairhealth.org.
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1 A claim line is an individual service or procedure listed on an insurance claim.
2 CPT © 2021 American Medical Association (AMA). All rights reserved.
3 A charge amount is the provider's undiscounted fee, which a patient may have to pay when the patient is uninsured, or when the patient chooses to go to a provider who does not belong to the patient's plan's network. An allowed amount is the total fee paid to the provider under an insurance plan. It includes the amount that the health plan pays and the part the patient pays under the plan's in-network cost-sharing provisions (e.g., copay or coinsurance if the patient has met the deductible).
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