Impact of COVID-19 on Telehealth Utilization: Analysis of Komodo Healthcare Map™ Claims Data

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OBJECTIVES: As COVID-19 severely restricted patients’ ability to visit care settings in-person, the use of telehealth was impacted; the immediate and enduring impact on telehealth utilization is an unanswered question. This study aimed to identify medical conditions typically treated using telehealth and quantify trends in telehealth utilization through the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed using a 10 million-record random sample of patients with telehealth visits (with telehealth defined by CPT codes with telehealth modifiers or place-of-service codes). Data were analyzed between 1/1/2015-12/14/2021, in the Komodo Healthcare Map™, which includes adjudicated longitudinal medical, and prescription claims for >150 million unique patients. Komodo Health, Inc., is representative of the US commercial, Medicare and Medicaid insured population. Data may be incomplete for the last 6 months of 2021. Descriptive statistics were analyzed in SQL.

RESULTS: The analysis included 9,853,828 patients with a mean (SD) age of 46.6 (±21.6) years and 58.6% were female. Over the 7-year period, 30,266,939 telehealth visits were completed with a 5-fold year-over-year increase on average. In an analysis of a single month (June) of each year, the number of telehealth visits increased by 166% from 2015-2016 and by 41%-54% for each year between 2016-2019. Between 2019-2020, there was a substantial 4,425% increase followed by a slight decrease of 40% from 2020-2021.In 2019, the most common conditions treated via telehealth were upper respiratory infection (8.8%), sinusitis (7.8%), and depressive disorder (6.1%). In 2021, the most common conditions were depressive disorder (4.6%), anxiety disorder (4.4%), and essential hypertension (3.8%).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm the immense increase in telehealth utilization in the past few years, and especially during the first year of the pandemic. The substantial and sustained increases in the 7-year analysis, and comparatively, the slight dip in 2021, suggests that telehealth utilization may well endure post-pandemic.


Silber A1, Liu R2, Mulrooney M2, Salkar M3, Francis K2, Hadker N2

1Trinity Partners, LLC, Waltham, MA, USA, 2Trinity Life Sciences, Waltham, MA, USA, 3Trinity Life Sciences, Champaign, IL, USA


ISPOR 2022

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