Telehealth increased during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but unmet needs for care persisted.
Continued reliance on telehealth use could exacerbate health care inequities, and the resources and technology required for telehealth may be less accessible for people with low incomes or living in rural areas.
One-third of adults had a telehealth visit in the first six months of the coronavirus outbreak.
Adults who were more likely to use telehealth than their respective counterparts include those in fair or poor health, adults with multiple chronic conditions, and Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults.
Those who were more likely to want a telehealth visit, but not received one, were more likely to have an unmet need for care because of the pandemic.
Fewer than 10 percent of adults did not see a provider because they did not want a telehealth visit and in-person visits were not offered.
Telehealth now constitutes 6 percent of outpatient visits, compared with less than 1 percent before the pandemic.
Despite the increased use of telehealth for access to health care during the pandemic, this brief shows unmet needs for care persisted, especially among adults in fair or poor health, individuals with chronic conditions, Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults, and people covered by public insurance.
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Safety Net Hospitals in the COVID-19 Crisis
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