Telehealth Offset Declines in In-Person Mental Healthcare in 2020
A new study shows that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 16- to 20- fold increase in telehealth use for treating mental health conditions, counteracting the drop in in-person care volumes.
– A study published in JAMA Network Open found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant increase in using telehealth to treat mental health conditions, alongside a decrease in in-person service use.
In the study, researchers from RAND Corp. and Castlight Health reviewed how US adults accessed mental health services during 2020. They conducted a cohort study using county-level service use data from a national US database of commercial medical claims. They gathered data on adults between Jan. 5 and Dec. 21, 2020.
In total, researchers analyzed data on 5.1 million commercially insured adults. Researchers calculated the per-week use of mental health services per 10,000 beneficiaries across five psychiatric diagnostic categories: major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Published online 1/10/2020
Author: Mark Melchionna