Telehealth use soared from less than 1% of outpatient visits before the pandemic to 13% in the first six months.

Although the use of telehealth recently has tapered off, the pandemic helped secure its place as a viable option for patients, physicians and insurers.

Before the pandemic, most employer health plans provided at least some coverage for services delivered through telehealth, but few enrollees used these services. Social distancing led many providers to deliver more services remotely. Governments and payers sought to maintain access to care during this period by removing regulatory barriers and reforming payment policies. As a result, telehealth use surged early in the pandemic.

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