Just the Facts: 30 Telehealth Statistics for Doctors to KnowAll the predictions say that telehealth is about to step into the mainstream. Don’t take our word for it, though:

  • A March 2018 report from Business Insider says, “Many believe that 2018 could be the tipping point for the telehealth market.”
  • A December 2017 article on the Society for Human Resource Management website says, More employers are offering—and more employees are using—services that provide diagnosis, treatment or prescriptions following a consultation with a health care professional by phone or computer video.”
  • A February 2018 article on the Managed Healthcare Executive website says, “Direct-to-consumer (DTC) telemedicine is growing at an ever-expanding rate due to new phone, computer, app technology and patient demand. Now, patients can quickly assess healthcare providers for phone or video visits via their personal devices. For hospitals and providers, the big draw with virtual visits is the potential savings involved in replacing physician office visits and ER visits.”

Telehealth is technology that has been around for more than 50-years. Whether you call it telemedicine, telehealth, e-health, or something else, these applications include the clinician conducting a remote patient encounter by using the Internet. These visits are becoming both more widely available and generally accepted by consumers.

What You Should Know About Telehealth

If your practice hasn’t considered telemedicine yet, it’s likely that you will in the future. In the same way that some of us were reluctant initially to go digital with EMRs, there will be clinical providers that drag their feet on telehealth. In fact, the first wave of early adopters has been hospitals and their hospital-owned ambulatory sites.

Increasingly there have been discussions at industry conferences about telehealth applications and their potential for cutting costs. We’ve assembled 30-facts about telehealth for you to share with your colleagues as you debate the merits of telemedicine.

Telehealth in the Hospital Network

1. More than one-half of all U.S. hospitals have a telehealth program.
American Telemedicine Association.

2. 90% of healthcare executives say their organizations are developing or already have a telehealth application.
MedCity News

3. 48 states require payers to cover telehealth.
Center for Connected Health Policy

The Market for Telehealth

4. Telehealth makes up about one-fourth of the healthcare-related technology market.
BCC Research

5. In 2014 it was valued at $15.6 billion and it is predicted to increase to $20 billion by 2019.
BCC Research

6. Nearly Almost 75% of all doctor, urgent care, and ER visits “are either unnecessary or could be handled safely and effectively over the phone or video,” according to statistics from the American Medical Association and Wellness Council of America.
Healthcare Business & Technology

7. About seven million people will use telehealth services in 2018.

8. All Medicaid agencies now cover some form of telehealth application. American Telemedicine Association.

9. 70% of employers are currently offering or planning to offer telehealth.
Towers Watson

10. The majority of healthcare organizations are increasing or maintaining their telehealth investments this year.

Attitudes about Telehealth – Clinicians

11. 84% of healthcare executives say telehealth is important to their organization.
MedCity News

12. In a survey of health system clinicians, 42.5% say they use telehealth to fill in gaps in care delivery.
Fierce Healthcare

Attitudes about Telehealth – Patients

13. 65% of patients with a primary care provider would be willing to see them through a telehealth visit.
Healthcare IT News

14. 50 million Americans would be willing to switch their family practice provider to have access to a video visit.
Healthcare IT News

15. The majority of consumers are comfortable having their private patient records in the cloud.

16. Almost 60% of patients aged 65 or older would be willing to manage a chronic condition with a telehealth visit.
Healthcare IT News

17. 52% of adults would be willing to conduct a post-surgical visit through video.
Healthcare IT News

18. 74% of consumers say they are at least open to a virtual health visit.

19. 76% of consumers prioritize access to treatment over a face-to-face visit. American Hospital Association

Clinical Outcomes

20. A study of outcomes for 8,000 patients showed there were no differences in care quality between the in-person visit and the telehealth visit.
Fruit Street (CDC)

21. When the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) used telehealth for their post-cardiac arrest care program, hospital readmissions reduced by 51%.
American Hospital Association

22. When telehealth applications were applied in an outpatient psychiatric setting, the length of stay in ER waiting rooms declined from 48 hours to 22.5.
American Hospital Association

23. ICU telemedicine programs are associated with better survival rates and reduced hospital lengths of stay.
American Hospital Association

Telehealth Benefits

24. American employers could save up to $6 billion per year by offering telehealth to their employees. Willis Towers Watson

25. Improved patient satisfaction scores were the biggest telehealth ROI cited by healthcare executives.

26. Americans living in rural areas benefit the most from telehealth applications. Advance Healthcare Network

27. One hospital reports it saves $86.64 every time a telehealth application is used over an in-person visit in the ER or urgent care. American Council on Science and Health

28. A 2017 survey showed it takes an average of 24 days to schedule a new patient-physician appointment.
Merritt Hawkins

29. The average cost per in-person visit is $125. The average cost for a telehealth visit is around $45. US News & World Report

30. 20% of Americans live in rural areas with no access to healthcare.
American Hospital Association

It’s clear that telehealth applications open new opportunities to improve the quality of care and caring for patients. Telehealth applications are not appropriate for every visit, certainly, but can be applied to many of the more routine, follow-up appointments that take up so much of our – and our patients – time.

Telehealth for the medical practice means better access to care, reduced overhead costs, and better patient satisfaction scores. A dramatic increase in patient volumes with more streamlined workflows is possible with virtual visits.

OrthoLive is committed to helping the independent orthopedic group understand the benefits of telehealth subscription services for their practice and their patients. We have seen dramatic improvements to the bottom line – contact our team to discuss your options.

Understand the patient profile for telemedicine services.

The first step toward launching a new service line is to consider your target audience.

Telehealth has served an important purpose during the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing doctors and patients together virtually while lessening the risk of exposure to the virus. But the tool has also served an important role for providers seeking new sources of revenue at a time when most elective treatments have been postponed.

If your practice is launching a telehealth app consider the type of clinical encounter where it would work the best. CMS waived requirements that virtual visits only should be used for the established patient. However, private payers or state regulators may still have these rules in place. For the primary care provider, a telehealth service line may work best for routine patient exams or for triaging COVID cases. A specialist may use the tool to treat chronically ill patients that need more regular care.

Determining the right business case for telemedicine services requires consideration of the ideal patient and patient encounter before you launch the virtual visit model.

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