Payment Parity Between In-Person Care, Telehealth Persisted in 2021

Private insurers paid providers a similar amount for both evaluation and management and mental health therapy services regardless of whether the care was delivered in person or via telehealth in 2021, according to KFF-Peterson Health System Tracker. The analysis noted that while private insurers and employers were paying about the same amounts for in-person and telehealth in 2020, it was initially unclear whether they would continue to do so in 2021.

Telehealth use for mental health therapy surged with the COVID-19 pandemic: In 2021, more than half of mental health services were delivered via telemedicine, compared to only 1% in 2019. Common mental health therapy claims were paid at similar rates for in-person and telehealth care.

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Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong produces infographics and data stories on health insurance and specialty pharmacy for AIS Health. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting. Before joining AIS in 2018, she worked at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese.

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