This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:


peer-reviewed publication

reputable news agency


High telehealth use tied to increased health care utilization, cost

High telehealth use tied to increased health care utilization, cost

Higher telehealth use in a hospital service area is tied to increased health care utilization and cost, according to a study published online May 13 in JAMA Network Open.

Morteza Saharkhiz, Ph.D., from Meta Platforms Inc. in Menlo Park, California, and colleagues evaluated the association between use and outcomes for all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. The analysis included 3,436 hospital service areas for approximately 30 million Medicare beneficiaries.

The researchers found that compared with areas with low telehealth use, those living in high-use areas had more -sensitive hospitalizations (1.63 additional hospitalizations per 1,000 beneficiaries), more clinician encounters (0.30 additional encounters per beneficiary per semester), and higher total cost of care ($164.99 higher cost per beneficiary per semester). The groups did not significantly differ for ambulatory care-sensitive emergency department visits.

"Data from the COVID-19 pandemic suggest that higher levels of telehealth use may be associated with increased access to care and potentially lower quality of care (evidenced by increases in ambulatory care–sensitive hospitalizations)," the authors write. "Replication of this analysis with post–COVID-19 data is needed to fully understand the impacts of the telehealth expansion."

More information: Morteza Saharkhiz et al, Telehealth Expansion and Medicare Beneficiaries' Care Quality and Access, JAMA Network Open (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.11006

Journal information: JAMA Network Open

Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: High telehealth use tied to increased health care utilization, cost (2024, May 15) retrieved 30 May 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

The importance of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic


Feedback to editors