Graph of outpatient health care visits The number of outpatient visits, which plummeted in the early days of the pandemic, have fully rebounded to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to a new study. However, considerable variation by patient age, geographic area, clinical specialty and insurance coverage remains.

Researchers at Harvard University, the Commonwealth Fund and Phreesia, a health care technology company, analyzed data on changes in visit volume for the more than 50,000 providers that are Phreesia clients for its report, “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Outpatient Care.

Related: Utilization dropping for many clinics, but telehealth use is increasing

The pandemic has dramatically altered the delivery of outpatient care in 2020: Initially, health-care practices deferred elective visits’ modified their practices to safely accommodate in-person visits; and increased their use of telemedicine. The number of visits to ambulatory care providers had declined by nearly 60% by April.

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