Using claims from IQVIA PharMetrics Plus, we examined changes in health care utilization and costs among commercially insured US adults (aged 18 to 64 years) with diabetes (identified using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision codes). Utilization consisted of inpatient, emergency room (ER), all outpatient, physician office, ambulatory surgery center (ASC) procedures, and telehealth visits. Both utilization and costs (total medical spending in 2021 US dollars) were measured per person by month. Changes in utilization and costs were examined for 22 months of the pandemic (03/2020-12/2021) and compared with the corresponding months in the pre-pandemic period (03/2018-12/2019). We found that overall the largest reduction in utilization during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period was in ASC procedures (-41.9%) (Table). The reduction in physician office visits persisted throughout 2021. We also found a 7-fold increase in telehealth visits compared to the pre-pandemic period. Per-person costs were reduced by 19.6% from 03/2020 to 05/2020, then increased by 2-3% in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic period. Commercially insured adults reduced their use of health care services during the pandemic while increasing their use of telehealth visits. Although costs were lower in the first few months of the pandemic, they increased later in the pandemic.


X.Zhou: None. E.A.Lundeen: None. D.B.Rolka: None.

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