Sunday, February 12, 2017

Consumers want telehealth—what does that mean for health systems? | Healthcare IT News

Today, 50 million U.S. consumers would switch providers to one that offers telehealth, compared to 17 million in 2015.

60 percent of adults willing to have a video visit with a doctor want to see a doctor online regularly to help manage a chronic condition. The perception of what a visit to the doctor or clinic has shifted measurably during the past two or three years/ . It has become more accepted as an accepted mode of practice by physicians and patients alike.

Many clinics are struggling as to how to implement this function to their practice. 
Consumers want to see their PCPs
65 percent of consumers are interested in seeing their PCP over video
Consumers want to see the PCP they trust and know through tele-health. Twenty percent of consumers said they were willing to switch to a PCP that offered video visits. For health systems looking to retain current patients, as well as bring new patients into the system, making tele-health part of the primary care offering can produce big results.
What is driving this change?
Consumers are more likely to avoid an ER if telehealth is an option
20 percent of Americans would use a video visit for middle-of-the-night care
That’s not to say that consumers have abandoned the emergency room but they are open to alternative options of care. This consumer sentiment is driven largely by long wait times and high costs. Health systems can use telehealth to divert resources and costs away from the ER and urgent care facilities and into lower cost options like telehealth.
Southwest Medical Associates, a health system based in Las Vegas, Nevada, deploys an in-clinic marketing strategy for its telehealth service, SMA NowClinic. One marketing tactic involves the use of TV screens to post the wait times at all SMA Urgent Care locations—sometimes showing as high as 90 minutes—while another screen reads “Need to speak to someone right away” and promotes the telehealth service. To date, Southwest Medical has enrolled more than 30,000 patients in telehealth and conducted more than 20,000 telehealth visits.
Consumers want to use video visits for follow-up care
52 percent of adults willing to have a video visit to see a doctor are interested in using video visits for post-surgical or hospital stay follow-ups.
It’s estimated that between 15 percent and 25 percent of people discharged from the hospital will be readmitted within 30 days, with many of these readmissions being preventable. Consumers are open to the idea that follow-up care can be done via telehealth. Physicians that offer follow-up care via video may find that patients are more likely to adhere to recommendations since they feel more in control of their treatment.
In addition to offering urgent care services with its telehealth service NYP On Demand, New York-Presbyterian also offers follow-up visits so that patients can see their own physicians for appointments that do not require coming in to a clinic or hospital.
Consumers want to manager chronic conditions via video
60 percent of adults willing to have a video visit with a doctor are interested in seeing a doctor online to manage chronic conditions
Today, 1 in 2 U.S. adults have a chronic condition. Treating chronic conditions comes at a high costs for both consumers and health systems, making it equally beneficial to move these reoccurring visits to video. Building specialty programs for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and congestive health failure—and making consumers aware of the programs—can drive better patient outcomes.
Marshfield Clinic, a health system based in Wisconsin, is expanding its virtual care services and envisions providing support to its diabetic population by monitoring blood sugar and offering medication counseling.
Consumer thoughts and perspectives on telehealth are becoming increasingly important to health systems, and forward-thinking health systems are using telehealth to determine the services they offer in the future. 
Numerous companies have sprung up to fill this need.

Consumers want telehealth—what does that mean for health systems? | Healthcare IT News
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