What You Should Know:
– For people who have used virtual primary care, the vast majority of them (94%) are satisfied with their experience, and nearly four in five (79%) say it has allowed them to take charge of their health. The study included findings around familiarity and experience with virtual primary care, virtual primary care and chronic conditions, current health and practices, and more.
– As digital health technology continues to advance and the healthcare industry evolves, many Americans want the ability to utilize more digital methods when it comes to managing their health, according to a study recently released by Elevance Health — formerly Anthem, Inc. Elevance Health commissioned to conduct an online study of over 5,000 US adults age 18+ around virtual primary care.
Virtual Primary Care Helping People Take Charge of Their Health
Elevance Health is a lifetime, trusted health partner fueled by its purpose to improve the health of humanity. The company supports consumers, families, and communities across the entire care journey – connecting them to the care, support, and resources they need to lead healthier lives.
As digital health technology continues to advance and the healthcare industry evolves, many Americans want the ability to utilize more digital methods when it comes to managing their health, according to a study recently released by Elevance Health – formerly Anthem, Inc. For people who have used virtual primary care, the vast majority of them (94%) are satisfied with their experience, and nearly four in five (79%) say it has allowed them to take charge of their health. Survey respondents also indicated that convenience and accessibility are among the top traits that attract them to digital methods like virtual primary care.
Elevance Health, a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities, commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct an online study of over 5,000 US adults age 18+ around virtual primary care. Specifically, the study aimed to gain insights into consumer interest in virtual primary care as a resource to improve their health and wellbeing.
“Consumers are using digital technologies at an accelerating pace, and consistent with this, we’re seeing at Elevance Health use of telehealth that is nearly 20 times greater than pre-pandemic levels,” said Rajeev Ronanki, President of Digital Platforms at Elevance Health. “Virtual primary care gives individuals the opportunity to work with innovative services that make healthcare more convenient, accessible, and fit into their increasingly busy schedules. The study’s findings reiterate the desires of consumers to use digital technology – along with using traditional in-person care options – to take control of their health.”
Key insights from the study are listed and explained as follows:
– Familiarity and Experience with Virtual Primary Care: While telehealth and online healthcare services are rising in popularity, Elevance Health found that Americans’ familiarity with virtual primary care is divided – with around half (48%) being familiar with the term. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) like virtual primary care/find it appealing. Convenience (35%) and accessibility (31%) are among the top traits which Americans like or find appealing about virtual primary care. The overall ease of use (30%) is also appealing. Even though a majority like/find virtual primary care appealing, people still have questions. Around three in ten Americans who have not used virtual primary care as a source of primary care (31%) believe that doctors need to see their problem in person to know what is wrong. Around a fifth say they do not know if it is covered by their insurance, so they feel it may cost more (21%). Fortunately, some health plans – like those affiliated with Elevance Health – include virtual primary care as a plan benefit. Virtual primary care is part of Elevance Health and its affiliate health plans’ ongoing efforts to elevate whole health and advance health beyond healthcare – giving people more ways to connect with their care providers, and integrating digital, virtual, and in-person care. The offering can help address many conditions and help individuals manage their chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma. Virtual primary care also provides people access to urgent care services for minor health issues, including allergies, cold, skin rashes, and more.
– Virtual Primary Care and Individuals with Chronic Conditions: While a majority of Americans (82%) feel their health is excellent or good, more than three in five Americans (63%), are currently living with or managing a chronic health condition(s). Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those living with a chronic condition believe virtual primary care may help them take charge of their health. Americans see the benefits of virtual primary care – no matter if they are or are not living with or managing a chronic health condition. Many feel it can be a great way to increase access to healthcare for people who may otherwise be unable to visit a provider in-person (83%). However, the motivations to use it may differ – with those living with/managing chronic conditions being intrigued by the array of services easily available to them. Those without a chronic health condition who have a primary care physician are more likely than their counterparts to wish their primary healthcare provider used more digital forms of communication (47% vs. 39%).
– Current Health and Practices: As digital communications dominate everyday interactions and business transactions, there is an opportunity for providers to increase adoption of technology to address a gap with consumer use of digital communications in healthcare. Around two in five (41%) Americans who have a primary healthcare provider wish digital forms of communication, such as text messages or emails, were used more. With virtual primary care available with many of Elevance Health’s affiliated health plans, those members seeking digital communication with a care provider have access to a virtual care team through our medical text-chat service. The virtual primary care team can provide members with preventive care, condition management, and urgent care concerns – helping members improve their health and wellbeing – all at no or low cost. Follow-up questions can be managed for no additional charge through asynchronous chat, giving the member freedom to start, pause, and resume conversational messaging on their own terms.