Report: Telehealth accounts for about 10% of outpatient visits

New data and analysis provided by the Chartis Group and Kythera Labs show telehealth usage for outpatient visits rose from 1% pre-pandemic to 10% in June 2022.

According to millions of claims tracked and analyzed between 2020 and 2022, telehealth use was highest among younger adults ages 18 to 44, accounting for 15% of total outpatient visits in June. The option was used least among adults age 65 and older, accounting for just 5% of outpatient visits.

Geographic regions with the lowest percentage of English-only speakers showed the highest relative telehealth utilization rates, or 13% of all outpatient visits in the spring this year.

Telehealth adoption was highest on both U.S. coasts and through parts of the Midwest. 

The highest adoption rate for a state occurred in Hawaii, with 22% of outpatient visits in all specialties being conducted through telehealth. In California, adoption reached 18% during the week of June 13, and D.C. was at 16%. Researchers noted a correlation between payment parity and telehealth utilization.

Behavioral health continues to be the leading specialty in telehealth adoption, with 57% of all outpatient visits in June. Primary care accounted for 10.1% of visits, while medical specialties made up 5.8%. 

“Telehealth usage stabilizing around 10% indicates that providers have found real value in the modality and are actively choosing to utilize it more than before the pandemic. In the future, we expect providers to uncover additional use cases in how they deliver care virtually and impact in how that virtual care is experienced,” Chartis principal Bret Anderson said in a statement.

“Our analysis of more than 400 million claims over more than two years is intended to equip provider organizations with useful benchmarks for adoption and better inform their ongoing planning efforts.”

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