Survey Captures Medical Group Telehealth Utilization Trends During, After Height of COVID-19 Pandemic

Shows Sharp Increase Followed by Gradual Tapering Off.

Alexandria, VA – A survey conducted by AMGA Consulting found that medical group telehealth utilization grew rapidly in the first half of 2020, but then gradually declined as the year progressed.

According to the 2021 Medical Group Telehealth Survey, in 2020, telehealth utilization saw its most pronounced increase between Q1 and Q2. Those rates gradually tapered off in subsequent quarters, as groups adapted to the pandemic and local in-person restrictions were lifted.

Median Telehealth Visit Percent

Specialty Type


Quarter 1

Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Quarter 4


Primary Care







Medical Specialties







Surgical Specialties







Medical groups reported a median of 241 total telehealth visits per provider FTE in 2020. Median and average telehealth visits were between 20 and 22.5 minutes in length, and the majority of telehealth visits were for chronic care (30%) or mental health (28%) services.

Despite this uptick, respondents across all specialty types, organization types, and group sizes projected a decrease in their use of telehealth services as compared to 2020.

Telehealth utilization projects indicate medical groups plan to lessen their reliance on telehealth.

“The explosive growth of telehealth in 2020 was not surprising. It was an extraordinary reaction to an extraordinary situation. As we study the long-term effects this uptick in utilization had on quality, I believe we’ll find that telehealth adds a new dimension to healthcare delivery, said Fred Horton, M.H.A., AMGA Consulting president.” “However, respondents’ expressed intent to lessen telehealth utilization in the future indicates a more rational approach to managing care by the respective setting, both in-person and telehealth. This will result in more optimal matching of care need and modality as compared to the de facto reassignment of care to the telehealth setting that occurred during the lock-down phase of the pandemic.”

Utilization was highest for patients ages 65 and older, but utilization rates declined as the patient age groups grew younger. Utilization was highest among patients with commercial insurance (50.1%), followed by Medicare (31.2%), Medicaid (13%), and other methods of payment (5.7%). In addition, 82% of respondents indicated that commercial plans reimbursed at the same rate as in-person care, with 18% reporting commercial reimbursement at a rate less than in-person visits.

Video visits were significantly more common (80.1%) than audio-only visits (19.8%). Zoom was the highest single telehealth software/program used by system-integrated medical groups (30%), while the majority of independent groups utilized (42.1%) to connect with patients.

About the Survey

The purpose of the AMGA 2021 Medical Group Telehealth Survey was to gain insight into telehealth operating information and to understand telehealth utilization trends in the medical group setting. All response data was from 2020. Responses came from 56 medical groups representing more than 38,900 providers.

More information about the survey is available here. For press copies, please contact Matt Clarke at


About AMGA Consulting

AMGA Consulting assists healthcare organizations in navigating the changing industry environment. AMGA Consulting builds clients’ organizational capabilities through effective governance, operational improvement, strategic alignment, talent management, provider compensation design, fair market value analysis and total rewards solutions.

About AMGA
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, we advocate, educate, innovate, and empower our members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of our members’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high-quality, high-value care. Over 177,000 physicians practice in our member organizations, delivering care to more than one in three Americans.


Media Contact:

Sharon Grace
Chief Communications Officer
703.838.0033 ext. 393