Provider Spotlight: A Seasoned Physician at the Intersection of Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine, and Telemedicine
We sat down with well-respected emergency and sports medicine physician (and newly minted telemedicine provider)...July 24, 2019
If you are working in telemedicine, you should be aware of the latest data supporting this method of healthcare delivery. Get to know the most important data on telehealth market growth, insurance and telemedicine, telehealth technology, telemedicine patient demographics, telehealth patient satisfaction, provider adoption of telehealth, and specialty telemedicine statistics.
Telemedicine is a big business; by 2025, it is projected to exceed $64.1 billion in the U.S. (Global Market Insights). Globally, the market is projected to surpass $130.5 billion.
Telemedicine visits increased at an average compound annual growth rate of 52% per year from 2005 - 2014 (JAMA).
From 2017 to 2023 the global telemedicine market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% (ATA Telehealth Basics).
In a recent survey, 96% of U.S. large employers (companies with over 500 employees) said they would provide telehealth coverage with their health insurance in states where it’s an allowed option (NGBH).
Medicare currently covers many telehealth services depending on coverage level and geography, but still faces some restrictions, with Medicare Advantage plan beneficiaries (about 14 million patients) receiving the broadest access (ATA Telehealth Basics).
Medicaid plans in every state cover some form of telehealth services (ATA Telehealth Basics).
Most private insurance plans offer telehealth coverage. 32 states plus the District of Columbia require private insurers to cover telehealth the same as in-person services (ATA Telehealth Basics).
Video and other forms of technology are increasingly being used in hospitals. In 2017, 76% of hospitals in the U.S. were connecting with patients and other practitioners in this way, more than double the percentage in 2010 (35%) (AHA Fact Sheet).
As of 2017, 61.2% of hospitals had rolled out remote patient monitoring services (AHA Fact Sheet).
Despite increases in technology adoption, patients and providers still cite technology as a primary barrier to telemedicine. 23% of patients say they don’t have the technology to support virtual care or are not interested in the service, while 35% of physicians say the workplace doesn’t offer these technologies (Deloitte).
A 2018 survey found that almost a quarter of US consumers have had a telehealth visit with a clinician (Deloitte).
Total numbers of global telehealth patients grew from 0.35 million in 2013 to a projected 7 million in 2018 (Statista).
Nearly 9 in 10 Americans over 40 would be comfortable using at least one type of telemedicine for themselves or a loved one - just as likely as those 18 to 39 years old (debunking the myth that older generations aren’t as comfortable with telemedicine technology). (Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research)
Americans aged 51-60 submitted the most insurance claims of any 10-year age group for telemedicine in 2017 (FH Healthcare Indicators).
Telehealth services can also save money. Oftentimes, telemedicine copays cost the same or less than an in-person visit (American Well).
Patients believe telehealth services can meet their needs as effectively as in-person visits. Patients reported that telemedicine visits resolved their concerns 85% of the time, versus just 64% of the time for brick-and-mortar appointments (American Well).
Telemedicine users are very satisfied with the service. A 2019 survey found that 79% of respondents perceived telemedicine as more convenient in terms of scheduling, 83% felt that the care was as good or better than an in-person visit, and 66% felt personally connected to their telehealth practitioner (Massachusetts General Hospital).
Provider adoption has increased by 340%, according to a 2019 survey of 800 physicians (American Well).
Telehealth is physician-approved, with 90% agreeing that virtual care is beneficial in terms of increased access, communication, and satisfaction (Deloitte).
Sixty-nine percent of physicians are willing to use telehealth, up from 57% reported in 2015 (American Well).
However, the youngest physicians (ages 25-34) are slightly less willing to conduct video visits compared to those ages 35-44 (74% compared to 77%), likely because they are still working on building confidence and skill in their in-person services (American Well).
Doctors expect their telemedicine use to become much more regular. Most doctors who have used telehealth services as of 2019 only conduct video visits about 1-2 times per month (48%), but expect to conduct them 2 times or more per week 3 years from now (54%) (American Well).
While the biggest concern for patients regarding telehealth care is feeling less of a connection with their doctors (28%), physicians are mostly concerned about errors that could happen as a result of remote visits (36%) (Deloitte).
Of the telemedicine adoption barriers that exist for providers, top concerns include uncertainty around how the service is reimbursed (77%) and questions about whether video visits were clinically appropriate (72%) (American Well).
More specialty medical services are embracing telehealth. Mental health used to be the largest represented specialty in telehealth, but as of 2017, it moved from first to fifth on the list, only consisting of 7% of all telemedicine claim distribution (FH Healthcare Indicators).
However, the smallest gap between physicians willing to use telehealth and those who actually use it exists in the mental health specialty (American Well).
Pediatric physicians see telemedicine as beneficial to improving appointment visit rates, frequency of visits, and treatment adherence (American Academy of Pediatrics). These are all necessary improvements for the field because of the shortage of pediatricians across the country, with 30% of children needing to travel more than 80 miles to see subspecialists in the field (Health Capital; Pediatrics.
Half of the respondents in a 2017 survey said they would like to get their birth control filled by video visit (American Well). Other OB/GYN patients who require regular check-ups for conditions like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes could also take advantage of telemedicine visits (eVisit).
A 2019 physician survey found that 91% of urology physicians would be willing to use telehealth, which coincides as the specialty with the highest burnout rate at 54% (American Well).
Sixty percent of patients would be willing to see a doctor via remote visit for a chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes, opening up opportunities for other chronic health specialties, like pain management (American Well).
The numbers are in: telemedicine industry statistics indicate future growth in the field, increased interest from specialty medicine, and growing approval from patients and providers. If you’re looking for a change of pace with greater flexibility, less burnout, and burgeoning opportunity, sign up for telemedicine job postings with Enzyme Health today.