Pandemic Could Drive Durable Trends in Home Care, Telehealth

The ongoing pandemic has forced the health care system to quickly reorganize care delivery, as payers and providers have worked together to keep low-acuity patients away from hospitals overwhelmed by severe COVID-19 cases. Experts say such changes in health care delivery might become permanent as more consumers are introduced to nontraditional care sites.

Growth in telehealth delivery is well-documented, and during the current public health crisis, most private insurers have expanded access to telehealth, with some waiving related cost sharing. There are signs beneficiaries are taking advantage: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts said it processed 180,000 telehealth visits in March, a 5,100% increase in utilization compared with 2019’s monthly average.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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