Telehealth substituting for in-person follow-up visits

A new study in JAMA Health Forum looked at post-discharge follow-up visits for 70 million commercially insured patients from April 2019 to April 2020. They found that the number of visits remained stable but the percentage that were telemedicine grew from 0% to 46%. This shows that telemedicine was a substitute for in-person and did not contribute to an overall increase in utilization and suggests that as state and federal emergency waivers expire that continuing with payment parity can provide convenience to patients without increasing costs.