Premier: Telehealth sees record usage, increasing 149x during first wave

August 06, 2020 – Virtual visits to ambulatory settings hit record usage during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing 149X in aggregate between March and May, compared to the prior nine-month, pre-pandemic weekly average, reports Premier Inc (Charlotte, NC).

While the sudden uptake of virtual visits cooled off slightly as the first surge waned, ambulatory virtual visits were still 77x more than the pre-pandemic baseline heading into the final week of May.

Earlier this week, President Trump signed an executive order to expand access to telehealth services during the pandemic, which Premier has been advocating for. A new proposed rule would also extend the availability of certain telehealth services after the public health emergency ends.

To understand just how widespread telehealth use has become among ambulatory providers, Premier analyzed its database, InflowHealth, with volume, operational, and revenue data for more than 35,000 ambulatory providers nationwide, to assess changes to ambulatory operations during the first wave of COVID-19. The findings were striking: Prior to March 2020, fewer than 2% of InflowHealth providers were using virtual health technologies. By the end of April, that rate had skyrocketed to…

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