Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the release of a new FlashReport from WCRI that examines the utilization patterns of telemedicine services and prices paid for them in workers’ comp systems during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report focuses on two service types with the most prevalent telemedicine use: evaluation & management and physical medicine. Key findings included that use of telemedicine in workers’ comp saw significant growth in Q2 2020, with wide variation in use across states. Prices paid in the vast majority of study states were similar to in-person services. Interstate variation in the share of claims having their first office visit via telemedicine was significant, varying between 1-11%. Typical states saw about 4% of claims with evaluation and management services having their first office visit via telemedicine. Setting of the initial E&M service emerged as an important factor explaining the use of telemedicine for followup services, as patients who had an initial visit via telemedicine used it for about 65% of all followups, versus only about 3% for those with initial in-person visits.