Telehealth diagnoses in the South and West regions of the United States saw a reduction in COVID-19 diagnoses.
In the South and West, COVID-19 declined among the top 5 telehealth diagnoses in August 2022, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. In those 2 US census regions, COVID-19 fell from second place in July to third place in August; in the other 2 regions, Midwest and Northeast, and nationally, it remained in second place.
In all regions and nationally, COVID-19 fell by about 1% to 2% as a share of telehealth claim lines. The data represent the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare fee-for-service and Medicaid.
Telehealth utilization in the nation as a whole, as measured by telehealth’s share of all medical claim lines, remained relatively stable in August 2022, as it had in July. Nationally, telehealth utilization increased 1.9%, from 5.3% of medical claim lines in July to 5.4% in August. In the Midwest and Northeast there was no change in telehealth utilization. In the South, telehealth utilization increased 4.7%; in the West, it decreased 1.4%.
In addition to the changes involving COVID-19 in the South and West, there were other changes to the top 5 telehealth diagnoses in those regions in August 2022. In the South, skin infections and issues fell off the list; encounter for examination entered the list (at fourth place) for the first time since April. In the West, endocrine and metabolic disorders fell off the list; acute respiratory diseases and infections entered the list (at fifth place) for the first time since June.
In August 2022 in the West, psychologist and primary care nonphysician switched positions in the list of top 5 telehealth specialties, with psychologist ending in fourth place and primary care nonphysician in fifth place.
In August 2022, the rankings of the top 5 telehealth procedure codes did not change nationally or in any region when compared to the prior 6 months. The number 1 telehealth procedure code nationally and in every region remained CPT 90837, 1-hour psychotherapy.
For August 2022, the Telehealth Cost Corner spotlighted the cost of CPT 90847, 50-minute family psychotherapy with patient. Nationally, the median charge amount for this service when rendered via telehealth was $165.66, and the median allowed amount was $96.80.
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 4 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 5 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.
For the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, click here.