HHS has published the National Survey Trends in Telehealth Use in 2021: Disparities in Utilization and Audio vs. Video Services.
The analysis found a number of trends that can be helpful in understanding remaining telehealth barriers and their interaction with health care disparities. The study focused on differences in use between live video and audio-only telehealth modalities. Overall findings showed that telehealth use was common and utilization rates were generally similar across most demographic subgroups, except those that were uninsured. Utilization rates of live-video telehealth, however, were found to be lower among underserved populations, such as those with lower incomes and Black, Latino, and Asian respondents.
The results showed a decline in telehealth use over the course of the year and that groups with higher odds of utilizing telehealth services were respondents who self-reported as Latino, Black, and multiracial or other, yet video telehealth was more likely for White respondents.
• Telehealth utilization was lowest among uninsured (9.4%), and those in the Midwest (19%)
• Telehealth utilization was highest among Medicaid (29.3%) and Medicare (27.4%) enrollees, and those earning less than $25,000 (26.7%)
• Highest proportions by video were found among those between 18-24 (72.5%), college graduates (67.4%) and private health beneficiaries (65.9%)
• Video was lowest, and audio highest, among those without a high school diploma (38.1%) and adults ages 65 and older (43.5%)
They make a good point for the limits of the survey. Read it here.