What You Should Know:
– New KeyCare survey finds nearly 7 in 10 (68%) of consumers who needed minor but urgent medical services while traveling in the prior year received care via telehealth visits with their regular physicians or affiliated members of their physicians’ care teams, outpacing all other care-delivery options.
– Results are based on a survey of 400 consumers who have previously scheduled and completed telehealth visits and have a commercial health insurance plan. The survey also reveals the importance of health systems aligning with virtual care partners to increase access for traveling patients, while decreasing the risk of their own physicians violating state telehealth licensing regulations.
Telehealth Care While Traveling
– For consumers who received telehealth care while traveling, speed and convenience (52%) were the top factors influencing their decisions, followed by the ability to receive care from their regular care team (27%), and cost (19%).
Care Delivery Options
– Respondents reported receiving services from one or more care delivery options. Sixty-eight percent received care via telehealth from their regular physicians or affiliated care team members; 33% from a locally based urgent care clinic; 30% via telehealth from a provider not affiliated with their regular doctors; and 18% from an emergency room. Because providers must be licensed in the state where a patient is located, the results raise questions about whether some doctors might have been in violation – potentially unknowingly – of telehealth regulations when treating patients who traveled out of state.
Telehealth Adoption for Urgent Care
Overall, 59.5% of consumer respondents said that in the last year, they or a close family member had needed medical care for a minor but urgent issue such as strep throat or a skin rash while traveling out-of-state. When asked how they would seek needed minor but urgent care while traveling in the future, 50% of consumers said their top preference was via telehealth visits with their regular physicians or affiliated members of their physicians’ care teams, followed by emergency rooms (20%), urgent care clinics (15%), and telehealth from a provider not affiliated with their regular doctors (15%).