Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth visits represented less than 1 percent of all physician visit volumes. By the fourth week of April 2020, 42 percent of all physician visits nationwide were being performed via telehealth. COVID-19 has ushered in a new era for telehealth, accomplishing in weeks what many thought would take years. Not unexpectedly, telehealth adoption is not uniform across regions, specialties or consumer segments. Analyzing trends over the last six weeks raises three important considerations for providers regarding the long-term role telehealth will play in the care delivery ecosystem, which are shared in this report:
- Telehealth growth will stabilize as physician offices reopen, but remain an essential component of care delivery.
- Telehealth will impact every physician specialty—from primary care to medical and surgical disciplines.
- Telehealth’s impact on health disparities must be understood and addressed.