Health and Wellness Informatics News
Telehealth utilization fell by about 4%. This fall was bigger compared to the national average in the West, Midwest, and South. And in the Northwest, there was an increase.
After 3 months of stability in October 2022, the national telehealth utilization has declined by 3.7%. In September, there were 5.4% medical claim lines. However, in October, it came down to 5.2%.
According to the data, it is about the insured population who looked for private options. It also includes Medicare advantage, and it excludes fee-for-service Medicaid and Medicare.
In October, COVID-199 impacted the top 5 telehealth diagnoses in most regions. Also, in the Midwest, COVID-19 fell from 3rd to 5th position in rankings. In the Northeast, it fell from 2nd to 3rd place. And in the South, it fell from 5th position.
It was essential to help out the beneficiaries. To help them to maintain access to care between stay-at-home orders reduced Covid-19 exposure. Congress enacted the emergency waiver authorities. However, CMS used these authorities and the existing regulatory authorities. The target was to use policies. It also expanded access to telehealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It included waiving many statutory limitations like geographic restrictions. It allowed beneficiaries to receive telehealth in their home. In December, the omnibus spending package also came into existence. This extended telehealth and hospital-at-home programs. Telehealth utilization and flexibilities are in effect throughout 2024.
In November, the physician fee schedule rule came to power. CMS announced that outside of the Covid-19 PHE, Medicare would pay for mental health visits. It is for those that the Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics furnished. It will also make use of audio-only telephone calls and interactive video-based telehealth.
Healthcare is enhancing with the drastic rise of technology. A lot of things are in the making, and a lot of things are going to come up in the foreseeable future. Things will also become easier for rural people in the coming days.