• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Reimbursement
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Risk Management
  • Patient Retention
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • Practice Efficiency
  • Finance and Wealth
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Practice Growth
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Report: Pandemic spurred increase in telehealth

Article

Despite the increase in availability, many patients still don’t know whether their physician offer telehealth.

Report: Pandemic spurred increase in telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic saw physicians adapting in order to keep their doors open as lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders dropped patient volumes precipitously.

According to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, telehealth was widely used to help fill the gap. The report looked at telehealth utilization by Medicare beneficiaries between the summer and fall of 2020.

Among patients with a regular source of care, 64 percent or 33.6 million say their provider currently offers telehealth appointments. This is up from 18 percent who said their care provider offered telehealth appointments before the pandemic, yet 23 percent of beneficiaries say they don’t know if their physician offers it. The share of patients who don’t know is even greater, 30 percent, when they live in rural areas, according to the report.

Nearly half, 45 percent, of the beneficiaries whose regular source of care currently provides telehealth appointment have taken advantage of the offering between July and fall of 2020m meaning 27 percent, or 15 million, of all community-dwelling beneficiaries had a telehealth appointment during that period, the report says.

Beneficiaries younger than 65 who qualify for Medicare due to a long-term disability (53 percent), those enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid (55 percent), Black (52 percent), and Hispanic (52 percent) were more likely to have had a telehealth appointment, according to the report.

A majority, 56 percent, of Medicare beneficiaries who have had a telehealth visit have accessed that care using only a telephone while smaller portions used video only or a combination of the two (28 percent and 16 percent respectively). The phone-only option was more popular with beneficiaries enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid (67 percent), those aged 75 and older (65 percent), those living in rural areas (65 percent), and Hispanic beneficiaries (61 percent), the report says.

Related Videos
Kyle Zebley headshot
Kyle Zebley headshot