(LibertySociety.com) – When COVID-19 began spreading across the country, people hunkered down in their homes and stopped doing almost everything, including going to doctor appointments. In response to the virus, President Donald Trump expanded telehealth for Medicare recipients to ensure they were still getting the health care they need. His administration also proposed making the change permanent.
Private insurance companies also waived telehealth fees. According to a June study, doctors saw 50 to 175 times more patients via telehealth than they did before the pandemic. The shift in healthcare leaves many wondering if it will become a permanent fixture in the industry.
Telehealth Beyond 2020
According to a report by Medical Economics, the American people enjoy the telehealth experience. It’s nice to make a call on their electronic devices, thus avoiding waiting rooms and long wait times.
Doctor.com published a study entitled “Telemedicine Adoption in the Age of COVID-19 and Beyond,” and found Americans want to continue to use the services after the pandemic. A survey found 83% of patients will use virtual appointments after health officials contain the virus.
The study also found new patients are relying heavily on reviews when choosing a physician. Forty percent said they would only make a virtual appointment with a new doctor if they had excellent ratings. Also, 91% of the people who responded said using the service would make it easier to stay on top of their appointments and prescription refills. Andrei Zimiles, CEO of Doctor.com, said telehealth would become part of the “new normal” and providers need to start “shifting their long-term care strategies” toward virtual care to make sure patients get what they need.
The healthcare industry is evolving, and providers need to be ready to meet the needs of Americans. In the age of technology, it shouldn’t be surprising that virtual care is upon us, and it looks like it’s going to remain long after the pandemic is over.
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