Telehealth utilization grew for the third straight month in January, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. Telehealth use in January represented 5.4% of all medical claims during the month, up from 4.9% of all medical claims in December.
Increases were seen across all regions of the country. The greatest increase was in the West, where telehealth utilization grew 17.5%.
The social worker was the leading telehealth specialty nationally for January, followed by primary care physician. Other specialties in the top five were psychiatrist, psychologist, and primary care nonphysician, respectively.
COVID-19 ranked second or third, depending on region, of all telehealth diagnoses, with mental health being the top diagnosis.
A single hour of psychotherapy was among the top telehealth procedure codes nationally and in every region. The psychotherapy with evaluation and management visit, 30 minutes, was among the top five procedure codes nationally and in the Midwest after not being among the top five in December.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, FAIR Health begins our third year of tracking the evolution of telehealth,” said FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd, in a prepared statement.
FAIR Health is a non-profit “dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources, and health systems research support,” according to a press release about telehealth research.