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The popularity of telehealth has risen dramatically compared to pre-pandemic life.
According to the New York Times, “By April 2020, one national study found, telemedicine visits already accounted for 13 percent of all medical claims compared with 0.15 percent a year earlier… By May, for example, Johns Hopkins’s neurology department was conducting 95% of patient visits virtually.”
What began as a more popular form to still see your doctor while reducing the risk of exposure to the virus has turned into an increasingly popular alternative choice.
Participating in telehealth visits gives you the opportunity to visit a healthcare professional with more convenience. You’re able to speak with your doctor from the comfort of your own home, with more flexibility. Attending these appointments cuts the time it takes to get ready, drive to the office, check in, wait in the waiting room, and then wait in the patient room.
Time is valuable, and you want to spend less time in the waiting room, and more time healing.
Generally, telehealth visits cost less than typical in-office visits. It is estimated that a standard telehealth visit may cost approximately $50, while a standard in-office visit likely costs upwards of $176. While these estimates may change based on insurance co-pays etc. the fact remains the same, that the overall cost of telehealth services is dramatically more affordable.
Equivalent quality of care through telehealth
The quality of care you receive on a telehealth visit vs an in-office visit remains equally the same. You still have access to a dedicated team of healthcare professionals equipped with the same resources you need in-office. Your provider gives the same care through remote patient monitoring as an in-person visit.
According to the American Journal of Accountable Care, telemedicine has created a space for better long-term care management and patient satisfaction. Furthermore, it provides a new way to find health information and allows practitioners a more streamlined method of communicating (such as videoconferences, e-mail, and interactive chats).
Decreased risk of exposure to Viruses and Bacteria
Virtual visits increased the safety of patients and healthcare providers all around. By skipping the in-person aspect of a doctor’s visit, you reduce potential exposure and contraction of various viruses and bacteria in public places. While there are instances where, yes, you should go into your doctor’s office to be physically seen, there are also circumstances where a remote visit will be just as effective. Types of visits that have increased in telehealth popularity include:
- Follow-up appointments
- Educational appointments
- Mental health services
- Health screenings
- Medication management
Overall, there are numerous benefits of telehealth for you and your healthcare journey, and it looks like it’s here to stay. In a 2020 Telehealth Benchmark survey, results found that about 95% of healthcare systems agree that telehealth is a long-term strategy that will stay with us in our post-pandemic life.
Here at SBMA, our goal is to give you affordable healthcare options. We provide coverage for telehealth visits with healthcare professionals. For more information about how to successfully attend a telehealth visit, visit our blog post here. Take a look at our different benefit plans here and contact us today.