PAVC welcomes you to #TelehealthTuesday, an effort demonstrating the valuable role that telehealth played during the pandemic, and the role that it continues to play as current flexibilities are extended. Our data visualizations are based on publicly-available Medicare data.

Week 5
February 27, 2024

This week, we are focusing on the important role telehealth plays in removing a common barrier to accessing health care – lack of transportation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index ranks counties by their vulnerability across multiple core areas, including household access to a car. When we analyze Medicare fee-for-service claims data from 2022, we can see the counties where households are least likely to own a personal vehicle are the same counties with the highest rates of Medicare telehealth use. This correlation emphasizes how important it is to preserve continued access to telehealth services in communities where it may be more difficult for families to access care.

A table showing how access to telehealth removes a common barrier to healthcare - lack of transportation.

Week 4
February 20, 2024

This week, our #TelehealthTuesday data examines telehealth use geographically across the United States. Our map shows the percentage of Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) beneficiaries in each county who had one or more telehealth visits in 2022. It is plain to see that telehealth remained widely used throughout the entire U.S., with 27% of all Medicare FFS beneficiaries having at least one telehealth encounter. Multiple counties in Massachusetts, California, Texas, and New York saw 40% or more of their Medicare FFS beneficiaries use telehealth. This significant, widespread use further demonstrates why we need to permanently preserve access to virtual care, as it is an essential source of health care in our country.

Map data examining telehealth use geographically across the United States.

Week 3
February 13, 2024

This week, we are analyzing the top 3 types of service codes used for billing #telehealth in traditional #Medicare through 2022. According to the data, most telehealth is coded as evaluation and management (E/M) services for established patients. Aside from a spike in January 2022, E/M visits via telehealth for established patients held steady from May 2021 through 2022. This emphasizes that telehealth continues to be a valuable tool for patients to access important follow-up care and keep their providers informed of their progress. Also of note, the data reiterates that telehealth remains important in behavioral health, as the volume of psychiatry visits remained virtually consistent during the Public Health Emergency.

Infographic analyzing the top 3 types of service codes used for billing telehealth in traditional Medicare through 2022.

Week 2
February 6, 2024

This week, our #TelehealthTuesday data analysis focuses on telehealth care by specialty. As you can see, in May 2021, telehealth visits leveled off among nurse practitioners, internal medicine, psychiatry, and family practice, and but then remained consistent through the end of 2022; still exceeding pre-pandemic use. Nurse practitioners also surpassed internal medicine as the top telehealth care providers in Traditional Medicare in 2022.

Infographic showing a data analysis focusing on telehealth care by specialty.

Week 1
January 30, 2024

Welcome back to #TelehealthTuesday! Using the most recent #Medicare claims data, we are taking a fresh look at the important role #telehealth continues to play in the Medicare program. This data presents more compelling support for our continued advocacy for the permanent extension of pandemic-era Medicare flexibilities, which are due to expire at the end of the year.

In this week’s analysis, we are highlighting that telehealth use among Medicare beneficiaries remained stable throughout 2022. More than 8 million fee-for-service beneficiaries had at least one telehealth visit in 2022, showing how strongly the healthcare community still relied on telehealth, both to limit exposure to patients and providers and to reach more patients efficiently as high demand continued to place stress on overburdened providers.

Infographic highlighting that telehealth use among Medicare beneficiaries remained stable throughout 2022.

2023 Posts

Week 12
May 2, 2023

Telehealth has transformed healthcare for millions of Americans living with behavioral health needs. With the number of patients seeking care exceeding the providers available, telehealth has greatly increased access to this critical care, making it easier for patients to choose their preferred provider based on comfort (rather than location), and manage their health needs more conveniently within the demands of everyday life. To ensure we do not lose this valuable progress, Congress must permanently extend the telehealth flexibilities expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infographic showing how telehealth has transformed healthcare for those with behavioral health needs.

Week 11
April 25, 2023

Telehealth has transformed healthcare for patients living with chronic conditions, making it easier to monitor certain health indicators remotely and schedule convenient appointments with physicians. To ensure we do not lose this valuable progress, Congress must permanently extend the telehealth flexibilities expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infographic showing how telehealth has transformed healthcare for those with chronic illnesses.

Week 10
April 18, 2023

Telehealth has transformed healthcare for millions of Medicare beneficiaries, making it easier and more efficient for many of our country’s most vulnerable patients to access care. To ensure we do not lose this valuable progress, Congress must permanently extend the telehealth flexibilities expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infographic showing how telehealth is so helpful for medicare beneficiaries.

Week 9
March 21, 2023

It’s #TelehealthTuesday, and this map shows us just how widely telehealth is used across the country. Nationwide, 31% of all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries had at least one telehealth encounter in 2021 – accounting for approximately 9.6 million people. These numbers demonstrate why we need to permanently preserve access to virtual care.

Chart illustration showing how widely telehealth is used across the country.

Week 8
March 14, 2023

Today’s #TelehealthTuesday analysis shows how important telehealth is to Medicare beneficiaries who do not have easy access to a vehicle. The CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index ranks counties by their vulnerability across multiple core areas, including household access to a car. When we look at the Medicare fee-for-service claims data from 2021, we see the counties where households are least likely to own a personal vehicle also had the highest rates of telehealth use. This again emphasizes the vital role telehealth plays in creating more equitable access to healthcare.

Chart illustration showing households without a vehicle have a high use of telehealth.

Week 7
March 7, 2023

In today’s #TelehealthTuesday analysis, we are taking a more detailed look at the top primary diagnosis codes from last week, looking at the top 5 primary diagnosis codes for telehealth claims in 2021 among Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries, for both primary care specialties and behavioral health specialties. As you can see, telehealth provided essential access to care for patients experiencing hypertension, COVID-19, Type-2 diabetes, and sleep apnea, as well as those seeking behavioral health care for depression and anxiety.

Chart illustration showing the top 5 diagnostics codes used in telehealth claims in 2021.

Week 6
February 28, 2023

When we examine the Top 10 diagnoses for Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries using telehealth in 2021, it is clear telehealth plays an important role in providing healthcare access for patients living with chronic and behavioral health conditions. Among the most common uses, #telehealth supported patients with hypertension, sleep apnea, and diabetes, and provided care for COVID-19 patients. Telehealth also provides important access to behavioral health for beneficiaries with anxiety and major depressive disorder.

Chart illustration about how Medicare beneficiaries commonly used telehealth to treat chronic and behavioral health issues in 2021.

Week 5
February 21, 2023

In today’s #TelehealthTuesday data analysis, we are illustrating that telehealth provides important access to care for Medicare beneficiaries who qualify through disability. While these patients only represented 20% of all traditional Medicare beneficiaries in 2021, they represented 27% of all Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth. Furthermore, 54% of the Medicare population using telehealth for behavioral health were those who qualified through disability.

Chart illustration about how telehealth provides important access for those with disabilities.

Week 4
February 14, 2023

Did you know that while dual eligible beneficiaries only represented 18% of the traditional Medicare population in 2021, they represented 24% of all traditional Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth? Dual eligible beneficiaries also represented 43% of beneficiaries who used telehealth to see a behavioral health provider.

Chart illustration looking at how telehealth provides access for duel eligible beneficiaries.

Week 3
February 7, 2023

Today on #TelehealthTuesday, we are analyzing the top 10 specialties for telehealth use in traditional Medicare, according to 2021 data. Internal medicine was the top specialty for telehealth from March 2020 – May 2021. Starting in June 2021, nurse practitioners surpassed internal medicine as the most dominant specialty for telehealth in the traditional Medicare program. Meanwhile, behavioral health specialties such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers have had the most constant telehealth use from March 2020 – December 2021.

Chart illustration on how Internal Medicine and Nurse Practitioners are the top Medicare telehealth specialties.

Week 2
January 31, 2023

This week we are looking at how telehealth is most often used. According to our data, most telehealth is used for evaluation and management (E/M) services for established patients, psychiatry, and specialists. After an initial spike in April 2020, E/M telehealth visits for established patients and specialists have held steady from May thru December 2021. The volume for psychiatry visits has remained virtually consistent since the start of the PHE, demonstrating the continued importance of telehealth for behavioral health.

Chart illustration looking at how telehealth is most often used.

Week 1
January 24, 2023

Telehealth Tuesday is back for 2023! This week, our data shows that more than 9.5 million Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries received care via telehealth in 2021. Although telehealth use was lower in 2021 than in 2020, the traditional Medicare program saw at least 2 million telehealth visits per month, demonstrating telehealth’s continued importance even as the public health emergency unwinds.

Chart illustration that although telehealth use is lower in 2021 relative to 2020, the traditional Medicare program sees at least 2 million telehealth visits a month, demonstrating telehealth’s continued importance even as the public health emergency unwinds.

2022 Posts

Week 11
March 28, 2022

This week’s nationwide map demonstrates that Medicare beneficiaries across the country benefited from telehealth in 2020. Specifically, 41% of all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries (approximately 14.8 million people) had at least one telehealth encounter in 2020, and in approximately 85% of the counties listed on the map, 18% to 50% of their Medicare beneficiaries had at least one telehealth encounter. This widespread use of telehealth throughout the country demonstrates the need to preserve access to these important services post-PHE.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 11

Week 10
March 21, 2022

Week 10 completes our two-part series started in Week 8, and continues to focus on those with the greatest health needs (i.e. those with chronic health conditions). Week 7’s data demonstrated that this group of chronically ill individuals were more likely to use telehealth at the start of the PHE. This week’s data demonstrates that telehealth among this group is still a valuable and utilized service, even after in-person care resumed.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 10

Week 9
March 15, 2022

This week, we provide a telehealth policy update. Specifically, we focus on the FY 2022 omnibus appropriations package, which includes provisions to extend certain telehealth flexibilities related to the public health emergency (PHE) for 151 days—approximately five months—after the PHE ends. The following charts detail these flexibility extensions within their broader telehealth policy context, along with the telehealth flexibilities not addressed in the omnibus bill that would require further congressional action to be extended or made permanent.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 9

Week 8
March 8, 2022

Week 8, part one of another two-part series, continues our focus on those with the greatest health needs (i.e. high number of ER visits in the year before the pandemic). In Week 6, which was focused on this group of patients, the data demonstrated that they were more likely to use telehealth at the start of the PHE. This week’s data demonstrates how telehealth use among this group remained high, even as in-person care resumed in the second half of 2020.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 8

Week 7
March 1, 2022

Week 7, part two of a two-part series, focuses on how beneficiaries with the greatest needs (i.e. those with chronic health conditions) were more likely to use telehealth at the start of the Public Health Emergency (PHE).

Telehealth Tuesday Week 7

Week 6
February 22, 2022

Week 6, part one of a two-part series, focuses on how beneficiaries with the greatest needs (i.e. high number of ER visits in the year before the pandemic) were more likely to use telehealth at the start of the Public Health Emergency (PHE).

Telehealth Tuesday Week 6

Week 5
February 15, 2022

Week 5 focuses on how telehealth demand remained strong in 2020 among vulnerable beneficiary groups (dually-eligible and disabled beneficiaries), even as in-person care returned in the second half of the year.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 5

Week 4
February 8, 2022

Week 4 focuses on how broadband increases access to telehealth, and that while Medicare beneficiaries nationwide have benefited from increased access to telehealth, more can be done to improve access. For example, more than 10 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries reside in counties where less than 80% of households have broadband access, underscoring the need to improve access to broadband.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 4

Week 3
February 1, 2022

Week 3, focuses on how telehealth has improved access to primary care, mental and behavioral health. Notably, telehealth helped to greatly offset a more than 40% drop in in-person encounters for behavioral health in 2020, helping to provide access to these services during the pandemic.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 3

Week 2
January 25, 2022

Week 2 focuses on the role that telehealth plays for vulnerable patient populations—including Medicare-Medicaid dual eligible beneficiaries and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The data clearly demonstrate that telehealth is a valuable source of care among low-income beneficiaries and ESRD patients. Access to telehealth services beyond the current PHE can continue to improve care options for these vulnerable patient populations.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 2

Week 1
January 18, 2022

Week 1 focuses on how the flexibilities implemented by Congress and the Administration at the beginning of the pandemic allowed telehealth services to offset the dramatic drop in in-person care for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries that was seen at the start of the pandemic. From March through December of 2020, over 14 million Medicare FFS beneficiaries received care via telehealth.

Telehealth Tuesday Week 1