New FAIR Health White Papers Shows Large Telehealth Utilization Increases Before COVID-19

Center for Connected Health Policy

April 2021

Results showed that telehealth utilization increased by 73% from 2018 to 2019 with telehealth claims comprising over one-third of all health care claims in 2019.

In its fourth edition of the Healthcare Indicators and Medical Price Index White Paper, FAIR Health found that the fastest area of healthcare utilization growth from 2018 to 2019 occurred for telehealth services. FAIR Health conducted the annual analysis using its data repository of 32 billion claims for patients in commercial insurance plans. Results showed that telehealth utilization increased by 73% from 2018 to 2019 with telehealth claims comprising over one-third of all health care claims in 2019. FAIR Health also noted that the most common claim type for telehealth was for mental health services, bolstering other recent evidence that telehealth utilization continues to grow for behavioral and mental health services. The findings are an important contribution to ongoing policy discussions about where telehealth is going after the pandemic. While most telehealth experts have been paying close attention to telehealth utilization during the pandemic, these findings suggest that the story of telehealth’s rapid growth likely begins in 2019, one year prior to the public health emergency.

FAIR Health is a national nonprofit organization that maintains a large database of privately insured healthcare claims data. The organization performs healthcare utilization and cost analyses on market trends for use by researchers, consumers, and industry stakeholders. For more information about FAIR Health's data, view their website.

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FH Healthcare Indicators and FH Medical Price Index 2021: https://s3.amazonaws.com/media2.fairhealth.org/whitepaper/asset/FH%20Healthcare%20Indicators%20and%20FH%20Medical%20Price%20Index%202021--A%20FAIR%20Health%20White%20Paper--FINAL.pdf