Telehealth Medicine (also referred to as Telemedicine) has emerged to become a fixture of healthcare delivery in the United States and around the world, even before the COVID-19 pandemic mandated social distancing. Telehealth care resources increase access to providers, empower patients to take a more active role in the management of their care, and helps those who have trouble going to a physical, brick-and-mortar office get the help they need. As important as it has become in virtually all areas of specialization, however, telehealth continues to evolve, often with patients experiencing barriers to care, based on a variety of factors, like geography, age, income, and more.
So, what exactly does telehealth look like in the US right now? Let’s take a look at some interesting stats to get a full and clear understanding of the state of telehealth in the United States. What you discover may just surprise you.
The Doctors Are In
of US hospitals connect with patients through video.
Data from the American Hospital Association indicates that more than half of hospitals have implemented remote-monitoring capabilities. They also report that 76 percent of US hospitals connect with patients and consulting practitioners at a distance through the use of video and other technology. Almost every state Medicaid program has some form of coverage for telehealth services.
Virtual Visits Have Skyrocketed
According to data published in the Journal of the American Informatics Association, virtual urgent care visits at NYU Langone Health grew by 683 percent and nonurgent virtual-care visits grew by a staggering 4,345 percent between March 2 and April 14. Yes, we all know why, but these numbers suggest seismic shifts to the healthcare delivery landscape even in a post-COVID world.
All for IT: Seniors Love Telehealth
It’s often said that older patients have trouble embracing change and technology, and this perception has stopped many providers from modernizing certain aspects of their practice. The reality is that data suggests that seniors readily embrace telehealth implementation. A recent survey from telehealth provider American Well indicates that, although utilization among the group is relatively low, more than half of all seniors over the age 65 say they are willing to use telehealth, with leading motivating factors identified as “faster service,” “time savings/convenience,” “cost savings,” and “better access to healthcare professionals.”
The People Have Spoken
of telehealth visits result in concerns being resolved.
Additional data from American Well reveals a universal optimism toward telehealth practices. Patients believe telehealth services can meet their needs as effectively as in-person visits. They reported that telemedicine visits resolved their concerns 85 percent of the time, versus just 64 percent of the time for brick-and-mortar appointments.
Telehealth Limitations and Barriers among Certain Rural Populations
Although telehealth looms large over the 2020 healthcare landscape, many areas of the US still have trouble accessing these types of services, due to limitations in tech and infrastructure. Data from the Rural Health Information Hub reveals that only 69 percent of rural areas had access to high-speed broadband internet that met the minimum benchmark set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Only 71 percent had access to smartphones. These two resources are critical for full engagement with telehealth services, like video conferencing.
Maximize Your Telehealth Outreach with GoMo Health
GoMo Health is ready to help your organization fully leverage the benefits of telehealth. As telehealth and telemedicine have experienced continued innovation, we have remained committed to helping our clients use digital tools and interventions that help patients better understand their conditions, more easily connect with their doctors, and have a consistent lifeline of support and information. Our digital therapeutics have proven successful in variety of specialty areas, including cardiac care, maternal child health, and cancer care.