Since 2020, telehealth has gone through a drastic change. Even after the COVID-19 spike, it continued to steadily become a more sought-after service. According to a study by McKinsey, the use of telehealth stabilized around 38 times higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. With it comes to the opinion of patients, they now view telehealth favorably as well. Patients and providers alike enjoy the benefits for many reasons.
Accommodates Rural Patients
For years, this issue has affected the healthcare industry. Rural communities continue to struggle to receive the variety of care they might need as hospitals and clinics keep closing. Specialty clinics are set up where they’re needed and typically around larger populations that can sustain them. As a result, rural patients often travel long distances for their specialty health services. While telehealth appointments cannot cover all their needs, it helps improve the trust between doctor and patient. The patient can request a virtual appointment with their doctor for a check-up or maybe even use a chat service available for quick questions.
A benefit for both patients and providers. As the cost of living and healthcare debt continues to rise, patients are looking for ways to receive high-quality care at affordable prices. Scheduling a virtual appointment often costs less overall and the patient doesn’t have to make the commute. Additionally, the expansion of telehealth needs caused insurance companies to also adjust to the times and cover a wide range of virtual services. Many insurances will even offer scheduling virtual appointments in patient portals. For providers, a lower price to pay after an appointment means a higher chance of them getting full reimbursement.
Telehealth and digital services go hand in hand. When a clinic invests in their virtual offerings, it often coincides with them improving their digital scope. Features include scheduling appointments online, sending online reminders, sending online payments, sharing test results, requesting prescription refills, and more. When clinics implement those digital tools, they are streamlining many of their processes. Plus, the patients appreciate the option and ease of organizing most of their healthcare needs online and in their time.
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