Telehealth growth surpasses 6% ASC utilization increase by a long shot — 7 takeaways

Nationwide utilization of ASCs increased 6 percent from 2016 to 2017, paling in comparison to the 53 percent jump in telehealth utilization, according to a 2019 FAIR Health report on healthcare trends and pricing.

In contrast to ASC usage, utilization rose 14 percent for urgent care centers and 7 percent for retail clinics in the time frame analyzed. Utilization of ERs — a more traditional care setting — dipped 2 percent.

Seven more takeaways for ASCs:

1. Claim lines for ASCs grew 97 percent overall from 2008 to 2017. The same rate had been reported from 2007 to 2016.

2. ASC claim line growth was higher in urban areas (99 percent) than rural areas (76 percent) from 2008 to 2017.

3. From 2016 to 2017, claim lines with ASC usage dropped 8 percent in rural areas but grew 7 percent in urban areas.

4. Nationally, there was a 6 percent increase in claim lines with ASC usage from 2016 to 2017.

5. ASCs accounted for less than 1 percent of all medical claim lines by rural, urban and national settings every year from 2008 to 2017.

6. However, ASCs nearly doubled as a percentage of all medical claim lines during that time, from 0.46 percent in 2008 to 0.91 percent in 2017.

7. In 2017, more ASC claim lines were submitted for females than males in nearly every age group. Males only accounted for more of the ASC claim line distribution than females in the 0 to 10 age group and the 11 to 18 age group.

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