This year, telehealth services has been a profound method for patients to connect with providers, making it especially easy and efficient due to the restraints of access due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, telehealth visits have increased from 14% (pre-pandemic) to 57% and has increased to 77% for patients with a chronic illness.
The substantial increase in telehealth use accounts for a projected $29 billion in total healthcare services and will most likely account for 20% of all medical visits. According to Doximity’s 2020 State of Telemedicine Report, up to $106 billion of current U.S. healthcare spend could be virtualized by 2023, which shows how quickly patients and providers are embracing the shift to virtual care. To highlight the acceptance of telehealth services, patient reports have shown that 28% of patients feel that telehealth visits are the same or better quality than in-person visits.
According to the National Poll in Healthy Aging, patients surveyed said that their comfort levels with telehealth services has increased. In 2019, most adults surveyed said they had at least one serious concern with utilizing telehealth services. By the time of the survey in August 2020, those surveyed expressed more comfort in using telehealth.
The increased use of telehealth services within the U.S. is attributed to the widespread use of technology in the U.S., with 81% of Americans already owning a smartphone. Of those surveyed, 45% prefer to use smartphones and 39% prefer to use laptops for telehealth services. Earlier this year, 91% surveyed said it was easy to connect with their doctor using telehealth.
Although telehealth is being widely adopted among both patients and providers, there are some challenges that have come along with the widespread use of virtual care. According to a recent KLAS report, half of the healthcare executives surveyed stated that telehealth functionality was one of their primary problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with telehealth being a main concern, the executives surveyed reported that remote patient monitoring, interoperability, real-time data analytics, work from home resources and patient surveillance were other areas of concern.
Read the original article from Healthcare Finance here.