The Rapid Rise of Telemedicine During COVID-19
By the fourth week of April 2020, 42 percent of all physician visits nationwide were being performed via telehealth. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth visits represented less than one percent of all physician visit volumes. These metrics are outlined in an article by The Chartis Group, “The Rapid Rise of Telehealth: COVID-19 Creates New Trends in Patient Access.”


The Chartis Group, in partnership with Kythera Labs, is analyzing weekly trends in claims data from providers across the country. Updates to the methodology and underlying data used in this article are planned on a weekly basis to highlight emerging trends in provider care delivery. You can access the Telehealth Adoption Tracker here. Telehealth visits have begun to supplant the role of in-office patient visits in the current COVID-19 environment. Below are key metrics from the analysis:
  • The states with the highest percentage of telehealth visits are Massachusetts (69%), New York (61%), Michigan (55%), Maryland (53%), California (50%) and Louisiana (48%). These are also states hit hardest by the pandemic and/or have instituted strict stay-at-home orders.
  • Telehealth adoption, as a percentage of all physician visits, for the week of April 22 is led by the following specialties – Gastroenterology (68%), Psychiatry (63%), and Neurology (64%).
  • Telehealth adoption disparities exist across payor and geographic segments:
    • Thirty-five percent of physician visits by patients with Managed Medicaid coverage have occurred via telehealth, as compared to 42 percent for Medicare Advantage-insured patients and 43 percent for commercially insured patients.
    • Further, the gap in telehealth adoption widens from 42 percent in urban geographies to just 31 percent in rural geographies.

The report provides emerging telehealth implications and recommendations for providers.


Jim Brown

National Marketing Director

The Chartis Group

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