• April 17, 2021

Substance-use disorders among top telehealth diagnoses in Northeastern U.S.

Oct 12, 2020

Substance-use disorders in July emerged as one of the top five telehealth diagnoses in the Northeast, ranking fifth, according to new data from Midtown-based nonprofit Fair Health.

The finding is the first time the diagnosis breached the top five this year, Fair Health noted. It’s consistent with an increase in substance-use disorders that has been noted during the pandemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies as well as a trend toward using telehealth to treat a wider variety of conditions.

Substance-use disorders accounted for about 2% of telehealth diagnoses in the Northeast in July, data showed. They followed mental health conditions (52%), joint and soft tissue diseases (4%), developmental disorders (3%) and general signs and symptoms (2.3%).

Mental health conditions were the number one telehealth diagnosis nationally and in every region, Fair Health found, as they have been since March.

Overall, telehealth claim lines increased 3,806% nationally from July 2019 to July 2020, rising from 0.15% of medical claim lines to 6%, Fair Health said. Telehealth claim lines fell 12% nationally on a month-to-month basis, as they represented almost 6.9% of medical claim lines in June 2020.

The Northeast had the greatest percentage increase in volume of any region from July 2019 to July 2020: 8,987%. From June to July 2020, it also had the greatest percentage decrease: 16%.

The data represent the privately insured population, excluding Medicare and Medicaid.

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