Impact of the Pandemic on Medicare Spending and Utilization – AMA Research

A recent report from the American Medical Association (AMA) summarized impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the spending and use of Medicare physician services through the first half of 2020.  That report found that spending declined as much as 57% in April of 2020.  The attached provides updated impacts through September.  Key findings include:

  • The recovery in use of Medicare physician services continued but spending was still 8% less than expected at the end of September 2020.
  • In total, spending from the start of the pandemic through September was $11.5 billion or 16% below expected.
  • Telehealth accounted for 5.2% of Medicare physician spending from July to September of 2020, down from a peak of over 16% of spending in April 2020.
  • Use of telehealth continues to be largely concentrated in a handful of service categories including established patient office visits, telephone calls, and mental health services.

You can read more on AMA’s website here and view the presentation here.