No longer just a nice-option-to-have, telehealth has become a must-have for healthcare professionals and parents alike during these trying times. Although we all wish it wasn’t a global pandemic that brought telehealth into the limelight, we’ll take the victories we can get. Today, telehealth is one of the fastest growing industries out there, and for good reason.
According to a survey conducted by Black Book Market Research and SGP (Sage Growth Partner), 59% of consumer respondents reported that they’re more likely to use telehealth services in light of the current situation, compared to the 25% who used them before the pandemic. 33% of respondents even said they would ditch their current healthcare provider in favor of one who provided telehealth services.
This shows us that the telehealth industry was already experiencing growth before the pandemic, and that the ongoing healthcare crisis only cemented the critical role it’s playing in the delivery of healthcare today. The following are three reasons why telehealth is here to stay.
With a large part of the country still adhering to stay at home orders, people still require medical services; telehealth access not only makes this possible, but also safer and more convenient. Of course, telemedicine has its limitations like all technologies, but it has a critical role to play not only in COVID-19 symptoms screenings, but also for keeping up with routine check-ups and follow-ups. Telehealth is even being used to monitor and treat cancer patients.
Behavioral health has witnessed a telehealth surge. In a recently conducted survey, 45% of respondents reported that their mental health has been impacted by the pandemic, and the number of online mental health consultations has hit record highs.
Regulatory Barriers Have Been Lowered
Due to the COVID-10 pandemic, regulatory changes that would have normally taken months and months to pass were passed overnight. These changes eliminated or reduced barriers in an effort to encourage both providers and patients to choose telehealth over in-person visits whenever possible. This will not only help in stemming the spread of the virus, but will also curb the use of PPE, which is already running scarce.
Improved Reimbursements & Financial Impact
Before the pandemic, doctors generally weren’t paid as well for telehealth visits as they were for in-person consultations. Broadly speaking, physicians had little incentive for adopting telehealth.
Before COVID, Medicare offered reimbursements for telemedicine services only to a very limited patient population, and only in a very limited set of circumstances. However, that has now changed. Virtually all of these restrictions have been waived off by Medicare and coverage has been expanded as well.
Vast Untapped Potential
Telehealth, right now, is playing a critical role in the ongoing health crisis. Widespread adoption by both providers and patients is laying solid groundwork for securing telehealth’s position in the future of the healthcare continuum.
Ignoring telehealth’s value is turning down the vast untapped potential of the short and long-term future of medical care. Robot-assisted surgery seemed like a far-fetched idea not too long ago, right? But now it’s here to stay.
Get Care MD offers premier online doctors’ visits for patients dealing with a wide array of physical and mental health conditions, including online consultation for hypertension, high cholesterol, anxiety, and more. Get in touch with us to learn more.