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2021 to 2022 Saw Decrease in Telemedicine Use in Past 12 Months

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Decrease seen across sociodemographic and geographic characteristics, including sex, family income, education, region, urbanization level

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 20, 2024 (HealthDay News) — From 2021 to 2022, there was a decrease in the percentage of adults who used telemedicine in the past 12 months, according to the June 20 National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Jacqueline W. Lucas, M.P.H., and Xun Wang, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the 2021 and 2022 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to assess changes in the percentage of adults who used telemedicine in the previous 12 months.

The researchers found that from 2021 to 2022, the percentage of adults who used telemedicine in the past 12 months decreased from 37.0 to 30.1 percent. The pattern was seen across sociodemographic and geographic characteristics, including sex, family income, education, region, and urbanization level. The likelihood of using telemedicine in 2022 was increased for women, adults with a college degree or higher, and adults living in more urban areas. Uninsured adults aged 18 to 64 years were less likely to use telemedicine in 2021 and 2022 than those who had private or public insurance, while among adults aged 65 years and older, those who only had Medicare were less likely to use telemedicine.

“Future examination of relationships between telemedicine use and detailed health data in NHIS, such as health conditions and health care access measures, may be useful in understanding who uses telemedicine, how use changes over time, and how it may be integrated into other health care services to improve overall access to care,” the authors write.

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