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Telemedicine Coverage Increasing

Covid telehealth laptop talking with doctor

There has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic among people with private insurance. The increase in telemedicine was greatest among patients in counties with low poverty levels (about 48 visits per 10,000 people versus 15 per 10,000 people in high-poverty areas) and among patients in metropolitan areas (about 50 visits per 10,000 people versus about 31 visits per 10,000 people in rural areas).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many private insurers and employers who offer insurance promoted the availability of telemedicine. A 2021 study found that working age privately insured people comprised almost a quarter of telehealth consults during the early part of the pandemic.

As health systems rapidly set up new telehealth programs or grew existing ones, it was up to physicians to ensure that the patient-provider relationship not only remained unaffected but also expanded to include new facets.

At the core of healthcare delivery is the provider-patient relationship. As telehealth grew in popularity over the past 18 months, providers had to establish and maintain this relationship virtually. Thus, physicians have had to adapt and strengthen their ‘webside’ manner — that is, bedside manner for the digital age.

And telehealth appears popular among seniors as well — a demographic that had many concerned as healthcare went virtual last year. A new federal report shows that telehealth usage by Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries grew from approximately 840,000 virtual visits in 2019 to nearly 52.7 million in 2020, a 63-fold jump.

Though telehealth usage is much lower than it was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still growing. Telehealth visits for Medicare beneficiaries have increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Medicare beneficiaries are making millions more telehealth visits since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a recent report.

Adults were more likely to have a telehealth visit as compared to children aged 12 and younger (about 65 visits per 10,000 adults as compared to about 50 visits per 10,000 children).

Overall, a recent study found there was a 20-fold increase in the rate of telemedicine utilization following the outset of the pandemic in March 2020. At the same time, the rate of office-based medical encounters declined by nearly 50% and was not fully offset by the increase in telemedicine.

Another recent study shows that the increase in telemedicine was greatest among patients in counties with low poverty levels (about 48 visits per 10,000 people versus 15 per 10,000 people in high-poverty areas) and among patients in metropolitan areas (about 50 visits per 10,000 people versus about 31 visits per 10,000 people in rural areas).

Adults were more likely to have a telehealth visit as compared to children aged 12 and younger (about 65 visits per 10,000 adults as compared to about 50 visits per 10,000 children).

 

Medicare beneficiaries are making millions more telehealth visits since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a recent report.

For assistance with your health coverage or more information on telehealth benefits, call Bethany Montgomery today at 936-220-2133!

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