75% of providers who use telehealth services expect their telehealth volume to increase or stay the same during the next 12 months
Public health providers are more likely (44%) to use telehealth than all other practice types (21%)
Among providers, the report found that those in public health settings used telehealth the most, along with those in states like Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, Kentucky and Arizona — likely as a result of favorable payment and coverage policies in those states. Additionally, providers who are not seeing their patient volume return to near-normal levels, serve primarily Medicaid patients and anticipate long-term changes in dentistry were more likely to embrace telehealth. Dentists with more than half Medicaid patents were 39% more likely to use telehealth platforms.
“Telehealth brings a wide range of benefits to the future of oral health care. It is key to expanding value-based care in our communities and improving outcomes for both oral health and overall health,” said Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and Catalyst Institute, Inc. “As we continue to leverage telehealth as a short-term solution for the pandemic, we must ensure its longevity to make it part of the dental ecosystem moving forward. That means taking the necessary steps right now to remove barriers that may prevent the widespread adoption or utilization of telehealth in the future.”
A bi-partisan coalition of 32 US House members are asking in a May 21 letter to Congressional leadership that ongoing emergency efforts to relax telehealth regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic be continued for an additional period of time. They are asking for time to collect data and determine which of these flexibilities should remain in place permanently.
“Telehealth is proving to be an extremely successful approach in ensuring that patients are receiving mental health and addiction care during this trying and unprecedented time, and we applaud the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for expanding behavioral telehealth flexibilities, and ultimately increasing access to these essential services,” the letter states. “In particular, we are grateful that CMS is providing broader coverage of behavioral telehealth services, which has helped expand access to many individuals in rural and medically underserved areas, and allowed individuals to receive these services in their home.”
The order would be included in the next COVID-19 relief bill, the lawmakers said.