The COVID-19 pandemic sparked tremendous growth in the use of telehealth services among Medicare beneficiaries, according to the Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General.

During the first year of the public health emergency, with many previous limits on the use of telehealth temporarily waived,

  • more than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth
  • beneficiaries used 88 times more telehealth services during the first year of the pandemic than in the previous year
  • beneficiaries used telehealth to receive 12 percent of their services
  • beneficiaries most commonly used telehealth for office visits
  • beneficiaries used telehealth for 43 percent of behavioral health services

Learn more about how Medicare beneficiaries turned to telehealth when their doctors became less accessible during the first year of the COVID-19 public health emergency in the HHS Office of the Inspector General data brief “Telehealth Was Critical for Providing Services to Medicare
Beneficiaries During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”