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More Californians Adopt Telehealth Services During the Pandemic Thanks to Grants from Health Net

Date: 07/21/22

COVID-19 has changed the way people live. This includes the rise in use of telehealth. Telehealth is when patients talk or video chat with a doctor via phone, computer or tablet. The number of telehealth visits in California rose by 400% between February and March of 2020. This was reported by the California Telehealth Resource Center. That's likely because seeing a doctor virtually means patients can avoid sick people; that's why telehealth is a good choice for those most at risk for very bad sickness from COVID-19.

Health Net worked with the California Department of Managed Health Care in 2020 to bring telehealth to patients. They gave 138 Medi-Cal providers across California $13.4 million in grants. This was to set up or expand their digital health practice. As a result, providers increased telehealth visits 20-fold during the grant period.

Grantees provided a variety of preventive and other care during the pandemic via telehealth:

  • Preventative Care: 31% were able to conduct routine check-ups or wellness checks for their patients.
  • Health Screenings: 42% identified telehealth as an important tool for patient screenings, including chronic diseases such as diabetes.
  • Health Education: 17% provided health education, including nutrition and physical activity counseling, diabetes education and smoking cessation.
  • Mental Health: 16% had success providing counseling and other mental health services.

The past two years have shown there is a lot of demand for telehealth, and the demand is from people of all ages. In 2020, there were more than 52.7 million telehealth Medicare visits across the U.S. This shows the future of telehealth is strong. Continuing to build access to these services will help meet needs.

Read more here about Health Net's work to set up and expand telehealth access within Medi-Cal and across the state.

Last Updated: 07/21/2022