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The surge in telehealth during the pandemic promised to shed light on a crucial question: Does the convenience of telehealth drive up costs when patients make more appointments than they would in-person? The answer stands to shape investments in — and oversight of — the fast-growing field.

But three years in, the mountain of telehealth claims data has created a fresh set of questions, and left regulators, insurers, researchers, and health systems with a newfound recognition that virtual care might drive up visits and costs for some specialities and not others. And even if it does, they say — it’s not clear that it’s necessarily a bad thing.

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