Much attention has been given related to the use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, usually focused from the provider and care delivery side. The article below takes a different view and summarizes research done by PwC looking at changes in consumer behaviors and attitudes towards telehealth as a result of COVID-19. Some of the interesting findings included the following:
- Not surprisingly, more individuals are using telehealth and of those who used telehealth for the first time during the pandemic, 88% said they would use it again.
- However, the pandemic has led most people to also cut back on healthcare expenditures causing them to forego medical care, including telemedicine visits.
- 32% of consumers said they already had or were planning on cutting down healthcare access to try and save money.
- Even more worrisome, 78% said they would skip a well visit, chronic care management maintenance visit, or an elective procedure or lab test to cut cost.
As we have discussed in other posts, these trends are concerning when we start to think of the impact COVID-19 is having on the chronic disease population, which require continuity of care management. We support models like Direct Primary Care that remove the cost barrier for patients to utilize telehealth services, and we continue to advocate for technology solutions that not only provide virtual visits, but allow providers to track the progress of their chronically ill patients remotely.