Report: August Sees Rise in Telehealth

A woman sits with a man during a telehealth appointment
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Broadband as physician‘s assistant got a boost in August likely due to the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant.

That is according to a monthly telehealth report from FAIR Health, which found that telehealth use was up after two months of decline and that COVID-19 was now among the top five remote diagnoses.

The monthly tracker looks at privately insured people, which includes Medicare Advantage but excludes Medicare fee-for-service and Medicaid.

The FCC has handed out millions of dollars in telehealth subsidies at the direction of Congress. In fact, in August it handed out $41.98 million in its second round of funding for COVID-19 telehealth services.

The survey found that growth of telehealth usage in August was greatest in the South, coinciding with the peak of the delta variant-driven cases in the South. The group suggests the rise was because both patients and providers were looking to reduce the risk of transmission.

While COVID-19 was the the fifth-most-frequent telehealth diagnosis nationally in August, it was No. 3 in the South.

The top-ranked diagnosis was mental health related.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.