Telehealth may increase rather than decrease health care costs, a new study has found.

The study, performed by the Rand Corporation and based on a limited sampling of data from California, found that only 12 percent of telehealth doctor visits replaced office visits while the remaining 88 percent of telehealth encounters constituted new demand.

The study focused on virtual visits for respiratory illnesses and found that the telehealth encounters often led to office visits and medical tests that increased annual spending on respiratory illnesses approximately $45 for each user.

Learn more about the study, its methodology and findings, and reaction to it in this Kaiser Health News report or go here for access to the Health Affairs study “Direct-To-Consumer Telehealth May Increase Access To Care But Does Not Decrease Spending.”