Between 2004 and 2014, the number of telemental health visits (telemedicine visits for mental health issues) made by Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas increased by 45% annually, rising from 2,365 visits in 2004 to 87,120 visits in 2014. The number of visits among beneficiaries with serious mental illness rose by 49% annually, from 1,040 in 2004 to 50,050 in 2014. The visit rate increased from 0.2 telemental health visits per 100 beneficiaries in 2004, to 5.3 telemental health visits per 100 beneficiaries in 2014.
Telemental health visits are defined as interactive audio or . . .