Contributor: Telehealth Utilization Fell Nearly 7% Nationally in February 2023

The decline followed 3 months of growth from November 2022 to January 2023.

National telehealth utilization declined 6.8% in February 2023, from 5.9% of medical claim lines in January to 5.5 % in February, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker (FIGURE 1). The decline followed 3 months of growth from November 2022 to January 2023. In February, telehealth utilization also decreased in all four US census regions—the Midwest (8.7%), the South (8.3%), the West (6.2%) and the Northeast (1.5%). The data represent the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid.

Top 5 Telehealth Diagnoses

In February 2023, COVID-19 no longer ranked among the top 5 telehealth diagnoses nationally or in any region. The previous month, it had ranked in third place nationally and in the Northeast and in fourth place in the South.

In February, mental health conditions, the top-ranking diagnosis nationally and in every region, rose from 65.9% of telehealth claim lines nationally in January to 66.7% in February. Also in February, sleep disorders entered the rankings in the Midwest, replacing encounter for examination in fifth place.

Asynchronous Telehealth

In February 2023, hypertension was the most common diagnosis via asynchronous telehealth in the Northeast and the Midwest, rising from second place. Hypertension continued to rank second nationally and in the West and fourth in the South, as it had in January.

In February, mental health conditions fell from third to fourth place nationally among the top five diagnoses via asynchronous telehealth.

Audio-Only Telehealth Usage

In February 2023, utilization of audio-only telehealth services decreased nationally and in the Northeast and South. It increased in the Midwest and in rural areas of the West, but stayed level in urban areas of the West. Utilization of audio-only telehealth services was generally higher in February in rural areas than urban areas, except for in the South, where audio-only telehealth services accounted for 10.1% of telehealth claim lines in urban areas compared to 5.5% in rural areas (FIGURE 2).

Telehealth Cost Corner

For February 2023, the Telehealth Cost Corner spotlighted the cost of CPT 97802, therapy procedure for nutrition management, each 15 minutes. Nationally, the median charge amount for this service when rendered via telehealth was $50.48, and the median allowed amount was $32.36.

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