Undeniably, there has been a growing connection between telehealth and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2021, virtual psychotherapy became the No. 1 telehealth procedure in the United States. In August 2020, psychotherapy was the second-most common telehealth procedure, according to FAIR Health, which provides reliable information on healthcare costs.
A surge in virtual psychotherapy indicated the growing use of telehealth among people suffering from mental health issues during the pandemic.
FAIR Health has been tracking the growth of telehealth spurred by the pandemic, as more and more patients and providers are going online to reduce the exposure to the coronavirus.
Also, in January 2021, mental health conditions became the most common diagnostic category, suggesting that it is also the No. 1 telehealth diagnosis. Overall, mental health conditions increased from 47.2% in December 2020 to 51.3% in January 2021.
Among all mental health conditions, the No. 1 granular diagnosis was generalized anxiety disorder, followed by major depressive disorder, adjustment disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder, according to U.S. News. Bipolar disorder was the #5 mental health diagnosis in every region but the Northeast.
Mental health conditions were the dominant diagnostic category in January 2021, but people used telehealth services for a variety of other conditions, including COVID-19.
COVID-19 was also among the top five diagnostic categories in January 2021.
In January 2021, many Americans used telehealth services, increasing from 6.5% of medical claim lines in December 2020 to 7.0% in January 2021.
Experts believe that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health may diminish as more people are vaccinated. So far, half of all American adults have now received at least one dose of the COVID-10 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, it is unclear whether telehealth will maintain its growth under these circumstances. It is a big question for policymakers, payers, healthcare providers, and patients.
FAIR Health will continue tracking telehealth, including its use for mental health, so it can help answer the question. The article was published on U.S. News.