Survey Reveals Strong Demand for Telehealth Despite Access and Cost Confusion

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Results from Joint Survey Conducted by the American Telemedicine Association and WEGO Health Indicate Convenience as the Top Motivator for Telehealth Usage

A joint survey conducted by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and WEGO Health of active healthcare users shows that consumers are interested in using telehealth as a replacement or complement to in-person care, citing convenience as the top motivator. Confusion persists, however, largely on whether their health provider offers telehealth options or if telehealth is covered by their insurer.

These results were released today at the ATA’s Fall Forum event in New Orleans in a panel discussion with WEGO Health. Survey respondents were polled on their use of video-conferencing to interact with their healthcare provider. Of the 429 respondents, 22% had used video conferencing to meet with a provider, with the majority interacting with their provider while at home. Among these users, telehealth was requested by the patients as much as it was suggested with 50% of users having asked their provider for a video appointment and 50% reporting that their provider had offered telehealth as an appointment option.

Of the 78% of respondents who had not used telehealth in the last year, a majority reported that they thought telehealth would be more convenient, even though their provider did not offer virtual appointments. This demographic reported that ease of scheduling, reduced travel, and increased access to care for immobile patients would motivate them to choose virtual visits over in-person care.

“Clearly consumers are not only becoming aware of telemedicine but starting to demand access to it,” said Jonathan D. Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association.  “It is becoming a part of the standard of care that should be made available throughout the country.”

Overwhelmingly, survey respondents demonstrated that the quality of telehealth over traditional care was not an issue when considering care. Patients who reported having used telehealth in the past year did so an average of 1-4 times.

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About the American Telemedicine Association

The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its diverse membership work to fully integrate telemedicine into healthcare systems to improve quality, equity, and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Established in 1993, ATA is headquartered in Washington, DC. For more information please visit http://www.americantelemed.org.

About WEGO Health
WEGO Health (http://www.wegohealthsolutions.com) is the first online home for patient influencers, social media’s most active community leaders who are passionate about helping others lead healthier lives. These patient organizers, connectors, leaders and contributors meet at WEGO Health, then carry knowledge, content and relationships back to the health social web. In addition, WEGO Health’s patient influencer network is the trusted community liaison to health companies and organizations, who engage through innovative sponsorship for insights and activation.

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Jessica Washington
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