Dec 6, 2021 - Health

Medicare's telehealth use soars

Illustration of a muted microphone icon with a long pill replacing the microphone.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There were nearly 52.7 million fee-for-service telehealth visits by Medicare beneficiaries last year, up from only 840,000 in 2019, according to data released by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. That is a 63-fold jump year over year.

Between the lines: Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut had the highest use of telehealth in 2020.

  • Tennessee, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota and Wyoming saw the lowest use in the same time period.
  • Overall health care utilization dropped by 179 million visits in 2020, an 11.4% drop from 2019, even accounting for the increased telehealth visits.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that this report was released by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, not the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Go deeper