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New CMS Data Shows Increased Medicare Telemedine Utilization During COVID-19

On December 3, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new data snapshot, featuring telemedicine utilization data that make the case for expanded and permanent telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.

These data are about people with Medicare who used telemedicine services between March 1, 2020, and February 8, 2021, and they come from Medicare Fee-for-Service data, Medicare Advantage encounter data, and Medicare enrollment information.

CMS states that the agency has seen large increases in telemedicine use during the defined time frame with variations across geographic and demographic groups. This increase is credited to the agency's expansion of telemedicine services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The snapshot shows that telemedicine utilization (e.g., telehealth, e-visits, and virtual check-ins) increased from 910,490 unique users pre-pandemic to 28,255,180 unique users during the pandemic. And the majority (53%) of the pandemic's telemedicine users were Medicare beneficiaries. To see a detailed breakdown of these data, read the full snapshot report.

For more information on Medicare's telemedicine expansions, visit its dedicated telehealth website.

Posted 12/9/2021