Telehealth Trends: Use Remains Strong in Behavioral Health, Linked to Follow Up Care


As Telehealth matures three years after it burst onto the healthcare scene at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, trends in demand, satisfaction, and delivery of care are emerging. Among them, demand for Telehealth services remains much higher for Behavioral Health than physical health, and Telehealth visits for Behavioral Health often result in in-person follow-up visits.

Overall Telehealth Use Continues to Decline as Satisfaction Varies by Age Group

For the broad healthcare market, the use of Telehealth, or virtual care, services continued to decline, from a peak of 76.6 million visits at the height of the Pandemic to 41.5 million visits in the fourth quarter of 2022—a 46% drop, according to the latest report from Trilliant Health

JD Power’s 2023 Telehealth Satisfaction Study found that satisfaction with Telehealth services varied by generation. Overall satisfaction with Telehealth was 698 (on a 1,000-point scale), but scores among members of Gen Y and Gen Z were higher (714) than those for Boomers and Pre-Boomers (671). According to the Report, “The satisfaction gap is widest in digital channels and appointment scheduling, suggesting that older telehealth users are having problems using telehealth providers’ digital interfaces.”

The Trilliant report found that in 2022 48.8% of individuals had only one Telehealth visit and that the one-and-done users were on average older than repeat users.

Behavioral Health Demand Remains Strong… 

Telehealth visits for Behavioral Health services remained strong, dropping only 12% from their Pandemic peak by the fourth quarter of 2022, and accounting for 62.8% of all Telehealth visits at that time, according to the Trillian data.

Virtual care helps address a number of issues in providing Behavioral Health services, including increasing access to care, particularly in underserved rural areas; leveraging limited clinical staff amid the Behavioral Health workforce shortage; and offering individuals a more private way to access care.

And Linked to In-Person Follow-Up Care

The Trilliant survey found that Behavioral Health Telehealth visits often result in in-person follow-up visits. Within one week, 11.1% of Telehealth visits resulted in an in-person follow-up visit for the same clinical reason, and within three weeks, 56.5% did, with Behavioral Health-related diagnoses accounting for the vast majority of follow-ups.

The top five diagnoses requiring in-person follow-up within three weeks of a Telehealth visit were:

  • Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders
  • Other anxiety disorders
  • Major depressive disorder, recurrent
  • Depressive episode
  • Bipolar disorder

Streamline and SmartCare™

Since 2003, Streamline Healthcare Solutions has focused exclusively on Behavioral Health and Human Services. We understand people choose this work out of a deep desire to help others.  We partner with our customers to provide innovative technology solutions that help them advance the lives of those they serve.

Streamline’s SmartCare™ is a true enterprise Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform that sets a new standard for Behavioral Health EHRs. Its dependability and stability provide organizations with the control they need to succeed in today’s complex environment, while its flexible and intuitive user experience enables them to transform the way they provide care to meet the exciting promise of tomorrow.

Request a demo today and learn how SmartCare™ can support your organization.