Utah Department of Health Center for Health Data and Informatics:
A new literature review examines telehealth payment and makes conclusions whether legislation requiring payment parity should be considered. Key findings include:
- The costs of an ambulatory telehealth visit is on average around $40 lower compared to an in-person visit.
- Some telehealth services like ambulatory care take up lower physician time than in-person services, but some specialty telehealth services like surgery take up higher physician time.
- Physician professional organizations prefer payment parity for telehealth services.
- Patients and payers prefer the same level of telehealth services that were available and provided during the pandemic.
- In a study examining over 7 million private payer outpatient claims between 2010 and 2015, the investigators found that telehealth visits are 30% more likely to occur in states with at least some kind of coverage or payment parity laws compared to states with no telehealth parity laws during that time. The authors suggest that this is due to lack of reimbursement being a significant barrier to telehealth entry for many healthcare providers.