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For the third straight month, national telehealth utilization, measured as a percentage of all medical claim lines, grew in January 2022, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker.

Telehealth utilization increased 10.2 percent, from 4.9 percent of all medical claim lines in December 2021 to 5.4 percent in January 2022. Telehealth utilization also increased in January in every US census region (Midwest, Northeast, South and West), with the greatest increase (17.5 percent) in the West. The data represent the privately insured population, including Medicare Advantage and excluding Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid.

With January 2022, FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker enters its third year of reporting on the evolution of telehealth from month to month. As before, a free, interactive map of the four US census regions allows the user to view an infographic on telehealth in a specific month in the nation as a whole or in individual regions.

In January 2022, social worker was the leading telehealth specialty nationally and in every region but the West, where primary care physician was the leading telehealth specialty, 0.1 percent ahead of social worker. In every other region and nationally, primary care physician was in second place behind social worker. Nationally, psychiatrist, psychologist and primary care nonphysician were in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

For January 2022, the Telehealth Cost Corner spotlighted the cost of CPT 92507, treatment of speech, language, voice, communication and/or hearing processing disorder. Nationally, the median charge amount for this service when rendered via telehealth was $129.92, and the median allowed amount was $77.64. The costs varied by region. For example, the highest median allowed amount was $88.47 in the Midwest, and the lowest $69.50 in the South.

In January 2022, COVID-19 continued to rank at number two or three among the top five telehealth diagnoses nationally and in all regions. Its share of telehealth claim lines, however, fell in all locations but the West, where the share remained the same. Mental health conditions remained in first place nationally and in all regions, but certain other diagnoses changed. Developmental disorders, for example, rejoined the top five diagnoses in the Northeast after a month off the list, and encounter for examination rejoined the top five in the South after a month off that list.

In January 2022, CPT 90837, one hour of psychotherapy, was in first place among telehealth procedure codes nationally and in every region. CPT 90833, psychotherapy with evaluation and management visit, 30 minutes, rejoined the top five procedure codes nationally and in the Midwest after a month off those lists. It remained in the top five in the Northeast and West but was not on the list in the South in either December or January.

FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, FAIR Health begins our third year of tracking the evolution of telehealth. Once again, we have modified our Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker to keep pace with the changing needs of stakeholders for current information about this venue of care.”