Telehealth visits fall from pandemic highs

After soaring to record heights at the beginning of the pandemic, telehealth visits continue on a downward slide. They decreased 10% between May and June, according to the latest data by FAIR Health, which is based on claims from the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage.

According to FAIR Health, telehealth visits made up 4.5% of all claims in June, down from 5% the previous month. By comparison, in April of 2020, when many offices paused in-person visits, they accounted for 13% of claims.

While telehealth visits might be decreasing as more people see their doctor in person, that doesn’t necessarily mean that virtual visits are going away.  Telehealth visits are still far above what they were before the pandemic, when they accounted for less than 1% of all claims, and several insurers have recently introduced plans that emphasize virtual care.

One thing has remained constant: the use of telehealth for mental health visits. It was a top use case for telehealth before the pandemic, and even more so in recent months. In June, mental health conditions accounted for 61% of all telehealth claims, followed by respiratory conditions and joint or soft tissue conditions.

photo credit: champc, Getty Images

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