Telehealth Services Explode, Making a Case for Hybrid Health Care
Even with loosening restrictions and mask mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent report based on data from the Forbes Health-Opsos Monthly Health Tracker has found that nearly one-third of adults are using remote health services more now than before the pandemic. Of that group, 19% of respondents indicated they have increased their telehealth or doctor visits, while another 10% say they used telemedicine websites or apps more frequently.
The pandemic saw a large uptick in remote health services, and it has only increased since then. Based on a previous post that AdvantEdge published back in September 2021 tracking the telehealth trend, the CDC found that in June 2020, “telehealth visits represented over 35% of all visits in June of that month and that ‘telehealth visits declined as the number of new COVID-19 cases decreased but plateaued as the number of cases increased.’”
According to this recent Forbes data, the telehealth trend may be on the upswing for quite some time, given the relatively low number of cases, and that telehealth visits and the cases are no longer linked.
As a result of the increased utilization of telehealth services, more health insurance providers are including these services as part of their care. Additionally, according to an American Psychiatric Association finding, in 2021 nearly six in 10 adults said they would use telehealth for mental health care – up 10% from 2020.
The healthcare industry is already investigating what a hybrid model – inpatient care and telehealth services – will look like. According to an interview between Healthcare IT News and Mike Brandofino, CEO of Caregility, a vendor of telehealth technology and services, these two are poised for symbiotic growth:
“Telehealth – when adopted as an enterprise-wide strategy – elicits many creative uses. We have heard from doctors who say that, thanks to virtual rounding, they get more done and see more patients by not having to walk miles through hospital hallways.”
Other examples include virtual care in patients’ homes and assisted living communities. Regardless of “how,” there has been a growing interest in enhancing the entire care experience through the adoption of hybrid care models that include both in-person visits and virtual encounters.
Read the full article for more information – “How telehealth can help inpatient care, and what a hybrid future looks like.”
The future of telehealth looks bright – it will enable medical professionals to spend more time focusing on their patients in a higher capacity while alleviating some of the burden and time management on the patient side. Additionally, it can support healthier and higher revenues by enabling medical professionals to “see” more patients.