FAIR Health Presents at NAHDO Annual Conference

November 17, 2022

On October 27, FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd delivered a virtual presentation to the 37th Annual Conference of the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO). Addressing conference attendees, who included health data organization leaders and analysts, data users and researchers, and policy makers, Ms. Gelburd spoke as part of a panel entitled “Innovations and Lessons from COVID-19.”

During her presentation entitled “Innovations and Lessons from COVID-19: FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker,” Ms. Gelburd explained how FAIR Health tracked telehealth before and during the COVID-19 pandemic with its comprehensive collection of telehealth data. To provide background on how FAIR Health began tracking the growth of telehealth before the pandemic, Ms. Gelburd discussed FAIR Health’s study, A Multilayered Analysis of Telehealth: How This Emerging Venue of Care Is Affecting the Healthcare Landscape, which was published in July 2019.

Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker
As part of her presentation, Ms. Gelburd highlighted FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, which uses FAIR Health data to track how telehealth is evolving on a monthly basis. Ms. Gelburd discussed the evolution of the Telehealth Tracker, with the first iteration comparing a month in 2020 with its corresponding month in 2019 to show the changes in utilization associated with virtual visits before and after the onset of the pandemic. Ms. Gelburd also presented how FAIR Health enhanced the tool, with the second year offering a month-to-month comparison of telehealth’s continued growth and the third year introducing features such as the Telehealth Cost Corner, which presents a specific telehealth procedure code with median charge and allowed amounts.

Telehealth Trends
Ms. Gelburd shared data from FAIR Health’s June 2022 brief, The Evolution of Telehealth during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multiyear Retrospective of FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, as well as related telehealth findings from FAIR Health data. Ms. Gelburd delivered insights into how telehealth usage, as a percentage of all claim lines, evolved over 2020 and 2021. Telehealth claim lines, for example, dropped in the spring and summer of 2021, as vaccination spread across the country. Ms. Gelburd also discussed the top 10 diagnoses nationally in 2020 versus 2021. In 2020 and 2021, mental health conditions far exceeded any other condition as the top telehealth diagnosis, at 43.5 percent and 57.2 percent in each year, respectively. Ms. Gelburd concluded the presentation by sharing data on the top 10 telehealth specialties in 2021. From 2020 to 2021, social worker rose in the ranking to the number one telehealth specialty at 30.7 percent, switching places with primary care physician, which ranked as number two in 2021 at 19.8 percent.