According to the most recent data from FAIR Health, COVID-19 telehealth diagnoses declined in 3 of the 4 census regions in the United States.
COVID-19 declined among the top 5 telehealth diagnoses nationally and in most US census regions from August to September 2022, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. Nationally and in the Midwest, COVID-19 fell from second to third place in the rankings. In the South, it fell from third to fifth place, and in the West, it fell from third place to out of the rankings. Only in the Northeast did COVID-19 maintain its position at second place. The data represent the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid.
Telehealth utilization nationally was unchanged from August to September 2022, as measured by telehealth’s share (5.4% in both months) of all medical claim lines. Telehealth utilization also was unchanged in the Midwest and West, but it rose 3.4% in the Northeast and fell 2.2% in the South.
In addition to the changes involving COVID-19, acute respiratory diseases and infections rose among the top 5 telehealth diagnoses nationally and in most regions from August to September 2022. Nationally and in the Midwest, this diagnosis rose from third to second place; in the West, it climbed from fifth to fourth place; and in the Northeast, it rose from outside the rankings to third place. Only in the South did acute respiratory diseases and infections maintain an unchanged position at second place.
The rankings of the top 5 telehealth specialties did not change nationally or regionally from August to September 2022. Social worker remained the number 1 telehealth specialty nationally and in every region.
From August to September 2022, the rankings of the top 5 telehealth procedure codes did not change nationally or in any region when compared with the prior 7 months. The number 1 telehealth procedure code nationally and in every region remained CPT 90837, 1-hour psychotherapy.
For September 2022, the Telehealth Cost Corner spotlighted the cost of CPT 99441, a 5- to 10-minute telephone medical discussion with a physician. Nationally, the median charge amount for this service when rendered via telehealth was $49.42, and the median allowed amount was $18.98.
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.
We welcome sharing these varying windows into telehealth utilization as it continues to evolve. This is 1 of the many ways we pursue our health care transparency mission.
For the Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, click here.