This analysis of population-level health care utilization data evaluates changes in monthly counts and rates of medical encounters for mental and behavioral health (MH/BH) conditions and the proportion of care delivered via tele-health among active component military members of the U.S. Armed Forces during the first 6 months (March–September 2020) of the COVID-19 pan-demic. Comparisons are also made to the same time period in the previous year (2019). Telehealth usage increased during the early pandemic and was on average 25% higher during March–September 2020 as compared to the previous year. In contrast, MH/BH outpatient visit rates declined modestly between March and May 2020 before rebounding in June and remaining sta-ble through September 2020. The number of bed days attributable to MH/BH conditions also declined during March and April 2020 and was on average 30% lower during March–September 2020 as compared to the same period in the prior year. Continued surveillance is warranted to track MH/BH health care utilization during the later months of the pandemic to ensure that suf-ficient resources continue to be directed towards MH/BH care to support the health and readiness of active component service members.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Medical Surveillance Monthly Report|
|State||Published - Aug 2021|