Telemedicine: Patient Perspectives, Enhancing The Physician-Patient Relationship
Televisits are enhancing physician-patient relationships, and creating high levels of patient satisfaction. Patients who scheduled a televisit in the past year were highly enthusiastic about their experiences, and a majority plan to increase their usage in the future.
Compared to a traditional office visit, patients find a televisit offers the following advantages:
• Reduces travel time
• Eliminates office wait-time
• Offers same quality of care at reduced cost
The most common form of televisits take place between patients and primary care physicians. A majority of patients learn about televisits from their primary care physicians. Offering this service can help physicians deepen their relationship with their patients; patients appreciate providers who value their time, and make it easy for them to obtain care when they need it.
Most patients scheduling televisits are aged 50 and younger. Insurance coverage is a contributing factor to this usage pattern: patients from these generations are more likely to have high-deductible health plans, have higher out-of-pocket expenses, and look for lower-cost providers. Additionally Medicare only covers telemedicine in certain circumstances; private insurance coverage is more broad. Patients who are confident their insurance covers telemedicine are more likely to use it.
Televisits are on pace for continued growth. Most patients are open to utilization, and one in 10 patients plan to schedule a televisit for the first time in 2017.