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Data show telehealth is more of a luxury good right now – Source

With the recent passage of the omnibus spending bill, which, in part, addresses telehealth, Congress is expected to kick the can down the road by extending pandemic-era telehealth provisions (e.g., audio-only, in-home telehealth coverage) for an additional five months.

Did the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate the adoption of telehealth? Yes, but that growth is largely attributable to the law of small numbers, and utilization has already begun to taper. Did more individuals experience telehealth? Yes, but did telehealth reach the individuals it was intended to expand access for? Mostly not yet. 

Two years into the pandemic, policymakers at all levels of government still lack a clear picture of who utilizes telehealth, where utilization is concentrated, and how individuals prefer to access healthcare services.

As a health economist and health-services researcher, I wondered who were the primary users of telehealth over the past couple of years: Has it actually expanded access to care, as…

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