News: COVID-19 no longer in top five diagnoses for telehealth use

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 56

As of September 2021, COVID-19 no longer made the top five telehealth diagnoses, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. In August, COVID-19 was the fifth most common telehealth diagnosis in the country, appearing in the top five diagnoses for every region except the Northeast.

Although COVID-19 dropped the top, mental health services increased. Though claim lines for mental health conditions decreased nationally between July and August, it then increased from 58.8% in August to 61.2% in September. The South saw the largest increase for telehealth mental health services, rising from 47.5% of all claims in August to 51.3% in September. Generalized anxiety disorder was the top mental health diagnosis in September for all regions of the United States except for the West, where major depressive disorder had the highest ranking.

Substance use disorder took COVID-19’s place in the top five telehealth diagnoses for September. Acute respiratory disease was the second most common telehealth diagnosis in all regions except for the west, and developmental disorders also appeared in the top five list for every region except the South.

CPT codes 90837 for a 60-minute psychotherapy call remained the most used procedure code, and code 90833 for a 30-minute psychotherapy call replaced CPT code 99441 for five to ten minutes of medical discussion in the fifth spot.

Editor’s note: The FAIR Health Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker can be found here. Additional ACDIS coverage of telehealth can be found here.

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