Overview

The Telehealth Services Analysis provides stakeholders with benchmark information to understand telehealth services prior to the onset of COVID-19, and will be updated regularly to help stakeholders evaluate changes in the health care system as a result of telehealth use before, during and after the pandemic.

Insights

  • Use of telehealth services was rising before the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  • From January 2018 to February 2020, telehealth utilization per 1,000 members increased from 57 to 75.9 (33%) for commercial, 28.9 to 55.1 (91%) for Medicaid, and 125.7 to 142 (13%) for Medicare Advantage members.
  • Females use telehealth services more often than males (64% compared to 36%), and young adults aged 18-44 use telehealth services more than other age group.
  • Across all payers, mental health conditions were the most frequent reason for telehealth visits (33%) followed by respiratory conditions (12%) and counseling (7%), though the top diagnoses varied significantly by payer type.
  • Primary care providers have historically provided most telehealth services, followed by behavioral health providers.
  • Alamosa county leads the state with the highest overall telehealth utilization rate, with 93% of the visits in that county for mental health conditions.
  • From January 2018 to February 2020, commercially insured patients increased their use of telehealth to access behavioral health providers by 83%.

Considerations

  • “All” payer data for 2019 and 2020 should be viewed with caution because:
    • Medicare Fee-for-Service is only available through December 2018 and is not included in 2019 or 2020 data, and
    • Commercial and Medicaid claims for January and February 2020 reflect approximately 95% of services provided (i.e., claims for some services incurred during these months have not yet been submitted to the CO APCD).
  • This analysis includes the majority of insured lives in Colorado, but does not include all self-insured employer covered lives, or federal health insurance programs such as the Veterans Administration, Tricare, and Indian Health Services.
  • View the full methodology document for more details on telehealth and telemedicine service categories provided.

Telehealth Overview and Trends

Telehealth Services Detail