A brand new research finds in the course of the first few months of the pandemic, sufferers have been extra probably to make use of telehealth providers for behavioral well being remedy than bodily situations.
The research, revealed just lately by RAND Corp., reveals that 53.6% of sufferers with a behavioral well being situation sought remedy through telehealth from mid-March to early Could of 2020. By comparability, 43.2% of sufferers with a continual bodily situation used telehealth to obtain care throughout the identical interval.
To get the findings, RAND surveyed 2,052 individuals from its American Life Panel, which is a gaggle of greater than 6,000 who take part in RAND’s analysis. Of these 2,052 individuals, 39.three% have been being handled for a continual medical well being situation previous to COVID and 15% for a behavioral well being situation. Total, 48% of those sufferers stated they sought telehealth remedy in the course of the first few months of the pandemic.
Many of the 2,052 respondents have been white—63.9%—and 94.2% have been insured.
Utilizing telehealth largely for behavioral well being remedy correlates with the robust proof base displaying telehealth is efficient for behavioral well being providers.
The RAND research additionally discovered utilizing telehealth for behavioral well being was much less probably for girls, individuals over 60 and people with lower than a highschool training.
“If telehealth use goes to stay excessive, we have to guarantee fairness of entry, significantly for behavioral healthcare the place training, age and gender have been all related to ranges of use,” stated Dr. Shira Fischer, lead writer of the research and a doctor researcher at RAND, in an announcement.
The authors added that data from research like RAND’s needs to be utilized by policymakers as they consider telehealth laws post-COVID. There’s a push amongst suppliers that telehealth reimbursement be extra on par with in-person providers after the pandemic nevertheless it’s unclear how insurers will reply.