Study: Telehealth Use Drives Up Costs - Diverse Health

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Study: Telehealth Use Drives Up Costs

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by Meg Bryant

Direct-to-consumer telehealth services make care more convenient by giving patients with minor illnesses 24-7 access to a physician, but they don’t necessarily reduce costs by substituting for office and emergency room (ER) visits, a new study published in Health Affairs suggests.

Researchers at RAND Corporation looked at three years of claims data and found that just 12% of telehealth visits for acute respiratory illness replaced visits to other providers, while 88% represented new utilization.

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