Report: Telehealth claims lines up 8,336% in April due to COVID-19

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Telehealth claims lines saw massive spikes in April, a new report shows. (AndreyPopov/GettyImages)

Telehealth claims lines have seen massive spikes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report shows.

FAIR Health released the most recent update to its Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker this week, which found that claim lines for such services increased by 8,336% in April compared to April 2019.

Telehealth claims increased from accounting for 0.15% of medical claim lines in April 2019 to 13% in April 2020, according to the report.

“Month by month, FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker is showing the impact of COVID-19 on telehealth," said Robin Gelburd, FAIR Health president, in a statement. "Our data indicate that this venue of care is being transformed at a rapid pace.”

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FAIR Health saw increases in telehealth claims across the country, with the largest hikes in the Northeast. Claim lines in the Northeast increased by 26,209% in April 2020 compared to April 2019, rising from accounting for 0.13% of claims lines to accounting for 19.69% of them.

Telehealth claims lines saw massive increases in the region in March as well, where it increased by 15,503% over March 2019.

Nationally, telehealth accounted for a greater portion of claims lines in urban areas than in rural areas, according to the report.

Payer executives believe that the increased interest in telehealth is likely here to stay, though questions remain on how reimbursement will look long-term once the pandemic subsides.