20% (50 million) of consumers would switch to a PCP that offers video visits if another primary care physician (PCP) in their area offers them, according to the Telehealth Index: 2017 Consumer Survey by American Well. The latest 2017 survey conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of American Well from August 19-23, 2016 among 2,100 adults ages 18 and older, and from September 28-30, 2016 among 2,007 U.S. adults ages 18 and older to measure consumer perceptions and experiences with telehealth
The survey reveals that among those who have a PCP, 65 percent are interested in seeing their PCP over video. Parents with children under 18 are even more likely to say they’re interested, with 74 percent interested in seeing their PCP through telehealth. 20 percent of consumers are willing to switch to a PCP that does offer telemedicine visits.
“Consumers are clearly interested in more convenient access to healthcare – and increasingly, they are even willing to switch providers to get internet video service. Not only that, but consumers are willing to try telehealth for many needs – from chronic conditions to post-discharge follow up,” said Mary Modahl, Chief Marketing Officer, American Well in a statement. “Health systems and provider groups must take note; if you haven’t already, 2017 is the year to put a secure telehealth platform in place.”
Embracing Telehealth for Providers
The key findings reflect that health systems can retain existing patients or bring new patients into their systems by making telehealth a key part of the primary care offering. By marketing video visits to patients, health systems can divert resources and costs away from the ER and into lower cost options that deliver higher patient satisfaction. On the payer side, physician reimbursement for telehealth can keep their health plan members in network and attract new members, and keep physicians satisfied.
In order for providers to be successful at telehealth, health systems should create awareness around telehealth programs designed for diabetes, hypertension and other common chronic conditions. Making consumers aware of these types of programs, while also highlighting complementary services like behavioral telehealth and dietician support, can drive better patient outcomes.
As a result, consumers may be more likely to adhere to physician recommendations if they have video visits with their physician. Physicians should suggest to patients that they do follow-up care via telehealth after a hospital stay, so they can ask questions and feel more in control of recommended follow-up treatment.
Other key findings from the Telehealth Index: 2017 Consumer Survey includes:
– When faced with a medical issue in the middle of the night, 20% of Americans would like to seek care through a video visit with a doctor.
– 60% of adults who are willing to have a video visit with a doctor say they would be willing to see a doctor online for regular check-ins to manage a chronic condition.
– 52% of adults willing to have video visits with a doctor would be open to completing post-surgical follow-up or hospital discharge visits via video.
– Among those willing to have an online video visit with a doctor, many are willing to use video visits for routine needs like getting prescriptions renewed (78%) or getting birth control (33%).
– 79% of those currently caring for an ill/aging relative would find video visits helpful for caring for their parent or relative.
– Consumers may be more likely to adhere to physician recommendations if they have video visits with their physician. Physicians should suggest to patients that they do follow-up care via telehealth after a hospital stay, so they can ask questions and feel more in control of recommended follow-up treatment.
– Health plans have an opportunity to promote adherence to chronic condition treatment regimens by highlighting the ways that patients can manage conditions from home, lowering health plan costs
– Consumers don’t want to take time out of work to sit in a waiting room. Employers have the opportunity to reduce unnecessary ER visits and eliminate time off for routine doctor visits, while improving employee satisfaction.
– Employees want new and innovative options to take care of their elderly relatives, while not ignoring their commitment to their jobs. Employers increasingly see the toll that elder care takes on employees, leading to stress and depression and decreasing productivity. By proactively offering multiway video visits, employees can take better care of their elderly loved ones, becoming more productive and happier employees.