Top 20 Telehealth Diagnoses in 2020 and 2021 

After COVID-19 triggered seismic shifts in the ways Americans think about how they receive the preventative care they need, physicians have rolled out robust telehealth services to match this soaring demand. By offering access to expert care safely and conveniently, patients are using telemedicine more than ever to pursue better health outcomes.  

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to reshape how care is provided and telemedicine adoption building momentum, patients have spent 2020 and 2021 with their physicians for all manner of health conditions. From COVID-19 testing to seeking help for mental, physical, and other conditions, patients are taking full advantage of virtual care services.  

According to insights from Definitive Healthcare’s medical claims database, more patients are using telehealth services for conditions related to anxiety, depression, and mental health than physical health conditions.  

Based only on data from January to April 2021, some of the top conditions of 2021 have already been diagnosed half or a third as much as their counterparts from 2020.  

This could indicate some interesting trends: 

  1. The data could corroborate the belief that more physicians are seeing the benefits of technology in their practice.  

  1. The data could support larger studies that the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our mental and neurological wellbeing

Below, we take a look at how the top 20 most reported telehealth diagnoses have changed from 2020 to 2021. Let’s get started. 

Top 20 Telehealth Diagnoses in 2020 

Rank 

ICD-10 Code 

ICD-10 Description 

Total Procedures 

  1.  

F411 

Generalized anxiety disorder 

4,772,649 

  1.  

I10 

Essential (primary) hypertension 

4,396,306 

  1.  

F419 

Anxiety disorder, unspecified 

2,392,636 

  1.  

F331 

Major depressive disorder, recurrent, moderate 

2,306,978 

  1.  

E785 

Hyperlipidemia, unspecified 

1,633,847 

  1.  

F4310 

Post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified 

1,608,043 

  1.  

F902 

 

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined type 

1,561,917 

  1.  

F329 

 

Major depressive disorder, single episode, unspecified 

1,279,162 

  1.  

K219 

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease without esophagitis 

1,122,564 

  1.  

E782 

Mixed hyperlipidemia 

957,151 

  1.  

E559 

Vitamin D deficiency, unspecified 

882,558 

  1.  

E119 

Type 2 diabetes mellitus without complications 

747,874 

  1.  

M545 

Low back pain 

705,649 

  1.  

F900 

 

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive type 

680,010 

  1.  

Z20828 

 

Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases 

679,395 

  1.  

T1016 

Case management 

592,839 

  1.  

F4323 

Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood 

478,602 

  1.  

R05 

Cough 

464,549 

  1.  

E039 

Hypothyroidism, unspecified 

398,526 

  1.  

U071 

 

2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease 

252,264 

 

Fig. 1 Data from Definitive Healthcare’s Medical Claims database. Data is from the calendar year 2020. Commercial claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States. Data is updated monthly—accessed May 2021. 

Top 20 Telehealth Diagnoses in 2021 

Rank 

ICD-10 Code 

ICD-10 Description 

Total Procedures 

1. 

F411 

Generalized anxiety disorder 

1,932,948  

2. 

I10 

Essential (primary) hypertension 

1,080,589 

3. 

F331 

Major depressive disorder, recurrent, moderate 

912,063 

4. 

F419 

Anxiety disorder, unspecified 

837,671 

5. 

F4310 

Post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified 

606,826 

6.  

F902 

 

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined type 

559,696 

7. 

F329 

 

Major depressive disorder, single episode, unspecified 

451,870 

8. 

E785 

Hyperlipidemia, unspecified 

425,173 

9. 

F900 

 

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive type 

375,389 

10. 

F4323 

Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood 

374,338 

11. 

K219 

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease without esophagitis 

310,774  

 

12. 

U071 

2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease 

250,560 

13. 

F332 

Major depressive disorder, recurrent severe without psychotic features 

225,470 

14. 

T1016 

Case management 

220,772 

15. 

E559 

Vitamin D deficiency, unspecified 

214,884 

16. 

E782 

Mixed hyperlipidemia 

157,722 

17. 

F410 

Panic disorder [episodic paroxysmal anxiety] 

120,921 

18. 

Z20822 

Contact with and (suspected) exposure to COVID-19 

120,429 

19. 

Z20828 

 

Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases 

109,700 

20. 

R05 

Cough 

100,551 

 

Fig. 2 Data from Definitive Healthcare’s Medical Claims database. Data is from January – April 2021. Commercial claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States. Data is updated monthly—accessed May 2021. 

Top Telemedicine Diagnoses in 2021 Emphasize Importance of Mental Health 

According to the data, we can see that conditions related to mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental health were a priority in patients in 2020. Generalized anxiety disorder (F411), major depressive disorder, recurrent, moderate (F331), and post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified (F4310), held several of the most reported diagnoses with a total of 8,687,670 procedures.  

Several other ICD-10 codes within the “F” category further indicate the personal importance of both patients and providers in diagnosing and treating a variety of mental health conditions. Telehealth services may be particularly well-suited for counseling patients with mental health conditions because they offer a safe, effective, private, and engaging environment for patients and physicians. Rural areas in the U.S., which have a profound history of lacking access to health care, may benefit the most from increased telehealth adoption. 

We can see similar progression of diagnoses in the above conditions’ 2021 counterparts. Considering data only through the first four months of the year, two of the three conditions have risen in position and generalized anxiety disorder (F411) has remained as the topmost diagnosis through telemedicine services.  

We can also compare diagnoses for endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases (“E” category). Cases of hyperlipidemia (E785) have decreased a total of 1,208,674 procedures, marking a fall from fifth position in 2020 to eighth position in 2021. Interestingly, diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes mellitus without complications (E782) have decreased significantly enough from 2020 to 2021 (so far) as to not appear at all in the top 20 telehealth diagnoses. In 2020, the condition held twelfth position with 747, 874 total procedures.  

Shifting gears, we can see that 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (ICD-10 Code U071) ranked lowest on the list of overall telehealth diagnoses in 2020. Healthcare providers assign this code because of a positive COVID-19 test result.  

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we see that confirmed positive COVID-19 telehealth diagnoses have skyrocketed to the twelfth position in 2021—again, this is a comparison of data collected from the months of January to April. This trend may have traction, however, as people may feel inclined to take advantage of self-testing and at-home testing and then consult their physician for an official diagnosis.  

While both datasets offer intriguing insights into how patients are using telehealth services, the impact on the way they think about how they receive care is significant. The appetite for a safe, convenient, and personal discussion of health between patient and provider is there. 

As more patients turn to telemedicine, we can expect more healthcare providers to integrate virtual care programs as a necessity to remain competitive, improve health outcomes, and strengthen the trusted relationship between patients and their providers.  

When we return to this post in the future, we’ll note whether initial projections were on track to match or exceed total procedures from the previous year. 

 

 

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