Telehealth visits have already benefited millions of clients and patients. In some cases, consumers and providers alike have seen how the many benefits of telehealth services may outweigh those available with in-person visits. On the other hand, some individuals who have experienced telehealth visits still prefer to receive their healthcare in person. And a third group prefers hybrid healthcare, which is the combination of telehealth and in-person services.
GoodRx Research Survey of Telehealth Services During COVID
GoodRx Research surveyed 600 healthcare providers and 1,000 patients from August to September 2021 to assess their telehealth experiences and preferences. Below is a summary of those results. Nearly 50% of all respondents used telehealth services during the pandemic. The survey also found that telehealth helped many patients successfully tackle various issues, including chronic conditions and mental health treatment during this time.
Preference for In-Person, Telehealth, or Hybrid Healthcare?
- Only 12% of surveyed respondents say that they would discontinue using telehealth in the future.
- Most respondents indicated that the difference between telehealth vs. in-person care is minimal, so they would like to utilize both. In addition, many have noted that telehealth is on par regarding cost and convenience.
Beneficial Effects of Telehealth Services for Patients
The survey found that most people surveyed felt comfortable receiving their telehealth services through video. After video chats, phone calls followed by text messages were selected by survey participants as modalities used. Concerning the quality of care, comfort level with providers, and cost, many consumers viewed telehealth as being on par with in-person care. Regarding convenience, most participants reported that appointment setting and accessing appointments was easier via telehealth.
Beneficial Effects of Telehealth Services for Providers
The survey also concluded that approximately 70% of telehealth providers said that patient care rendered better than in-person care. In addition, close to 60% of telehealth providers said that their patient visits positively impacted medication and discussions relating to the overall costs. Providers also reported that continuity of care, adherence to medication, and conversations around cost, were improved with telehealth.
The survey found that 41% of healthcare providers offering telehealth visits reported that they thought telehealth visits were as secure or more secure than in-person visits, and 35% said there was no difference. Three-fourths of the providers who participated in the survey said they had billed Medicare for telehealth visits. Over 80% of these providers plan on using telehealth to provide services in the future, and 64% reported feeling optimistic about telehealth.
In conclusion, it is becoming increasingly clear that telehealth is here for the long run as many patients prefer it due to its lower costs, easier accessibility, higher security, and overall quality of care. Even with many returning to in-person visits as the pandemic dwindles, telehealth’s ease of use offers consumers and providers a viable option that they may use going forward.
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