- COVID-19 diagnoses fell by about 1% to 2% as a share of telehealth claims nationally in August, according to Fair Health’s monthly tracker data out Thursday.
- In the South and West, COVID-19 fell from the second top diagnosis to the third from July to August. It remained in second place in the Midwest and Northeast.
- Mental health conditions stayed as the top telehealth diagnoses nationally and in every region, and one hour of psychotherapy remained the top telehealth procedure code.
Telehealth use has fluctuated throughout the pandemic, typically picking up amid waves of new COVID-19 variants.
As coronavirus diagnoses fell at the end of this summer, telehealth utilization overall remained fairly stable, rising 1.9% nationally and accounting for 5.4% of medical claims, compared to 5.3% in July.
Fair Health’s tracker uses data covering claims for patients on private insurance, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare fee-for-service and Medicaid.
Regionally, there was no change in telehealth use in the Midwest and Northeast in August, while utilization rose 4.7% in the South and fell 1.4% in the West.
Beyond COVID-19, some other top diagnoses also changed regionally. In the South, skin infections fell off the diagnostic list while examinations landed back on the list for the first time since April, according to FAIR Health.
Endocrine and metabolic disorders fell off the list in the West, while acute respiratory diseases and infections emerged for the first time since June.
In the West, psychologist and primary care nonphysician switched spots among the top specialties delivering telehealth services, with psychologists in fourth place and primary care nonphysicians in fifth place.
That follows a trend seen in July of more psychiatrists delivering virtual care in some regions.