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TELEHEALTH: How many telehealth claims? Not many!

In this study, researchers analyzed the claims database of the Health Care Cost Institute – which has commercial data from Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and United Healthcare, as well as Medicare Advantage data.  The objective was to look at utilization and reimbursement trends.  The number of telehealth claims submitted by primary care physicians was miniscule – about 6500 out of a total 96 million in the 4-year period studied.  Family physicians were the specialty most likely to submit telehealth claims.

Number of Claims: Primary Care Physicians: US 2009-2013

  •            6,506 telehealth claims
  • 95,900,000 non-telehealth claims

PCPs’ Most Frequent Use of Telehealth to Diagnose (in descending order of frequency)

  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Biopsy of the lymphatic structure
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Source: Wilson, F.A., Trout, K., Rampa, S., and others. (2016). An examination of private payer reimbursements to primary care providers for healthcare services using telehealth, United States 2009-2013. Issue Brief [Health Care Cost Institute].  Click here for full text: http://www.healthcostinstitute.org/files/HCCI-Issue-Brief-Examination-of-Private-Payer-Reimbursements.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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