Original Publish Date: February 7, 2017
In a 2017 consumer survey by American Well, twenty percent of consumers stated they would switch primary care providers to gain access to Telehealth services. In addition the survey found that 50 million Americans said they would choose another PCP if they offered remote visits, up from 17 million in 2015. Of survey responders who have a PCP, 65% expressed interest in video visits.
There were many things of significance that came out of this study. Consumers’ predominately willing to switch doctors were parents of children under the age of 18 and those individuals 35-44 years old. Additionally, 79% of consumers that were caring for an ill or aging family member felt video services would be helpful. In comes remote patient monitoring for chronic conditions. The survey stated that 60% of consumers saying they would see a doctor online to manage a chronic medical problem rose to 67% in the 45 to 64 age group.
Telehealth is comparably inexpensive and allows for far reaching increases in access to care. One of the biggest managerial and costly hurdles to care across all population demographics is transportation — whether for the elderly patient who has no means to drive themselves to a medical appointment, or the parent who must take time off from work to drive a sick child to the pediatrician. Telehealth in many cases serves to eliminate the need for transportation so that provider visits can be conducted in the comfort of one’s home through a video communication. Given the ease of use, Telehealth also allows for more follow-ups, thereby having the potential to enhance the effectiveness of the patient-provider relationship.
Bottom line: Consumers want to select the doctor they see, not be randomly assigned to one; 88% prefer to choose a doctor based on the credentials, training, and experience provided in a physician’s online profile.
Telehealth is the way of the future and it is the only way we are going to be able to bring healthcare to those that cannot get to their doctors. It is the only way we are going to be able to reduce costs and improve quality of care for all people. In turn it will help practices thrive and move forward to a much more profitable and engaged future.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence now is the time to bring Telehealth into your organization. Don’t wait, be proactive and thrive.
Cindy has been in the healthcare arena for over 18 years, largely in the capacity of CFO overseeing 15 assisted living facilities. She is currently the Regional Director for Go Telecare, a Telehealth, Medical Billing and Healthcare Consulting Company and can be reached at 360-909-7472 or email@example.com. See the Go Telecare web site at www.forewardhealthcare.com.