Just last week we told you that shares of telehealth companies were freefalling in the wake of a dip in usage—likely a course correction following the spike in use of remote care during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now FAIR Health has released data revealing just how steep that spike was: In 2020, as utilization fell in emergency rooms (a 30% drop) and urgent care centers (16%), use of telehealth grew 7,000% in the United States compared with 2019 usage. What will be interesting is how visits compare from this point on. Even though the pandemic lingers and we continue to learn about previously unknown variants, the sense of panic among the public has subsided and anecdotal evidence suggests that urgent care operators are recouping many of the patients that opted to seek care from home over the past couple of years.
Follow-up: The Pandemic Telehealth Spike May Have Been Higher Than You Thought