ASPE Issue Brief: Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data From The Start Of The Covid-19 Pandemic

On July 28, the HHS Office of the Assistance Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released an issue brief examining changes in Medicare fee-for-service primary care visits and use of telehealth at the start of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). This brief seeks to address the issue of how and whether the Medicare telehealth flexibilities introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic may have helped maintain access to primary health care during the PHE. The analysis found Medicare primary care visits dropped precipitously from mid-March at the start of the pandemic, at the same telehealth visits increased for primary care. However, telehealth use was lower in rural areas.