A recent study conducted by the Chartis Group has discovered that telehealth increased in popularity between 2020 and 2022, ultimately earning the reputation of being a reliable alternative for methods of healthcare delivery. Chartis Group is a leading healthcare advisory services firm that supports various stakeholders in the health sector by providing strategy, performance transformation, technology, and workforce expertise. As part of the study, researchers from Chartis and Kythera Labs examined millions of claims made between 2020 and 2022. They concentrated their efforts using this information to examine demographic patterns, which largely focused on language and age preferences, geographic trends, which looked at state-by-state statistics, and clinical trends, which looked at various types of visits.
According to the study, telehealth currently represents 10 percent of all patient visits, a substantial increase from the 1 percent prior to the pandemic. The researchers contend that this result indicates the legitimacy of telehealth as a modality for care. The data demonstrated that the majority of telehealth users are younger individuals aged 18 to 24, who account for 15 percent of all outpatient visits. On the other hand, elderly individuals aged 65 and above use telehealth the least and account for 5 percent of all outpatient visits. Additionally, according to demographic data, telehealth accounts for 13 percent of all outpatient visits in areas with a small quantity of English-only speakers. The researchers came to the conclusion that telehealth is not suitable for elderly patients at this time, and that healthcare professionals should focus more on accommodating patients from different linguistic backgrounds.
Based on data from 2022, researchers discovered that the states with the lowest rate of adoption were Alabama, Alaska, Missouri, Montana, and Tennessee alongside Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota and Iowa. The states with highest rates of adoption included Hawaii, California, and Washington, DC, at 22%, 20%, and 19%, respectively. In addition, the study’s data showed that behavioral health is the most prevalent specialty in terms of clinical activity, as telehealth accounts for 57 percent of all associated outpatient visits. Primary care, at 10.1 percent, and medical specialities, which continue to regularly utilize telehealth, are in second and third, respectively.
The researchers expect a continued increase in telehealth utilization as patients continue to become more accustomed to it. Additionally, experts advise that providers make appropriate plans according to the seasonal surge in COVID-19 cases that frequently occurs in the winter. “With winter coming, when telehealth volumes rise as COVID-19 cases tend to spike, it is imperative for providers that want to consistently meet the needs and preferences of their patients to plan accordingly with appropriate staffing and care models that account for predictable spikes in demand.”