The Rise of Telehealth during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Growing Popularity

The global pandemic has increased the popularity of virtual appointments. This is largely due to the fact that online doctor visits, pet checkups, and routine dentist visits help in maintaining social distancing. Telehealth also helps limit exposure to the virus, and is a convenient option for those seeking care in a timely manner. Virtual doctor appointments are not a new option. Traditionally, in person doctor visits have been favored. COVID-19 led to the ease of restrictions on telehealth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A major change includes that telehealth services will now cost the same as in person visits. Another key change includes the need for pre established patient relationships. As a result of increased flexibility and accessibility, the popularity of telehealth continues to grow. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, the use of telehealth services as a replacement option has increased by 46% in 2020. Patients are able to refill prescriptions, receive counseling, and much more from the comfort of their home.

Future of TeleHealth

COVID-19 continues to reshape the way consumers view telehealth, and its potential. Telehealth limits the spread of the virus for both patients and practitioners. Consumer opinions towards telehealth will evolve as the search for an effective vaccine continues. However, there are many factors that have a significant effect on consumer preferences. Some of these factors include the lack of knowledge on the benefits and services offered through telehealth. Another key issue is the lack of understanding of insurance coverage and billing. The prevalence of the coronavirus has highlighted the need for an increase in telehealth education, and the modernization of the current healthcare system. Source:

  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/telehealth.html
  • https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality#
  • https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200715.454789

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