Telehealth In The On-Demand Economy
April 15, 2016
In a world where anyone has their own private driver, and anyone can stay at their own bed and breakfast, people are also demanding healthcare whenever and wherever. Let’s face it: people are extremely busy and being told that the earliest you can be seen is a few weeks out will not work in an on-demand economy.
This dramatically impacts the bottom line of organizations through HCAHPS. Having accessibility to care when and where we need it is of utmost importance. With the ability to now order practically anything from our phones, people are becoming accustomed to receiving healthcare through technology.
CVS did a study where they went and put traditional care up against telehealth. People who were already at the CVS and waiting to see a doctor were given the opportunity to utilize telehealth. More than 95 percent of people who chose telehealth were satisfied with their choice.
“Telehealth Index: 2015 Survey” showed that people overwhelmingly favor access to care over a human interaction; an astounding 76 percent of people surveyed prefer access. The survey also showed that people are quite comfortable interacting through this new medium with 70 percent fine with not seeing them in person.
Companies are also quickly starting to buy into the more accessible and affordable options. A leading group, the National Business Group on Health had a survey showing that only 48 percent of employers were offering telehealth in 2015 to 76 percent projected this year.
Will people from different demographics harness telehealth? Our experiences at Prevail have shown that over half of our users are in rural areas where traveling to the location is even more cumbersome. In terms of age, about a quarter of our users are college-aged students and another quarter are elderly over 65.
Policy changes are taking place thanks to the leadership of Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) who are leading the CONNECT for Health Act, of which Prevail officially endorsed. Health plans and employers can also lead the way to provide their populations improved health outcomes while reducing healthcare spending.