Association Between Primary Care Payment Model and Telemedicine Use for Medicare Advantage Enrollees During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Patterns of outpatient care shifted dramatically during early stages of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with deferred in-person care leading to substantial revenue losses for primary care organizations. This created a strong financial incentive to shift visits to telemedicine, especially among organizations reimbursed under fee-for-service payment models.

Primary care organizations reimbursed under value-based payment models did not experience the same near-term financial incentives, but may have found it easier to expand telemedicine access due to underlying technology and infrastructure investments. To better understand these dynamics, we examined the association between primary care payment model and telemedicine use for Medicare Advantage enrollees during the COVID-19 pandemic.