Outpatient telehealth use soared early in the COVID-19 pandemic but has since receded

Telehealth use skyrocketed during the early months of the pandemic. While it has since decreased somewhat from that high, it still represents a much more substantial share of health care than before COVID, this KFF-Epic Research analysis finds.

From March through August 2021, 8% of all outpatient visits were conducted via telehealth– down from 13% in the first six months of the pandemic, but well above pre-pandemic levels, when telehealth accounted for a negligible share of outpatient visits.

The report also looks at telehealth use by chronic condition and by gender and summarizes potential implications for expanded telehealth use for access, costs and quality of care, as well as the regulatory environment likely to affect telehealth in the future.

The analysis can be found on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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