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Tele-Behavioral Health Use Among Medicare Beneficiaries During COVID-19

Publication Date
Laura Jacobus-Kantor, Judith Dey, Emma Nye, Jeral Self, Brenda Natzke, Melissa Sanchez, Rachel Miller, Mike Rudacille, Julia Baller

This issue brief summarizes analyses of Medicare fee-for-service data examining beneficiary use of tele-behavioral health services during 2019 and 2020. Results demonstrate that the number of Medicare beneficiaries receiving behavioral health care via telehealth increased dramatically during the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, the overall percentage of beneficiaries receiving behavioral health care services in any setting was lower in 2020 than in 2019 despite known increases in persons experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, and increases in substance use during this time.

This research was conducted under contract #HHSP233201500035I between HHS/ASPE’s Office of Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy (BHDAP) and Mathematica Policy Research. Additional research in this area is available at the ASPE Behavioral Health page or ASPE COVID-19 page.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Brenda Veazey, Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

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