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COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition

COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Surveys Patients on Telehealth Impact During COVID-19

Nationwide Survey Finds ‘High Levels of Satisfaction and Expectations for Future Use’

McLean, VA, and Bedford, MA, April 13, 2021 — Today the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition — comprising more than 1,000 healthcare organizations, technology firms, and nonprofits — published the Telehealth Impact Patient Survey. Overall patients reported positive experiences with telehealth visits with 79% of respondents being satisfied with their telehealth visit and 73% expecting to continue to receive healthcare services virtually beyond the pandemic.

The 20-question survey captured the opinions of 2,007 patients across the United States who received at least one telehealth visit during the pandemic and provides insights and data across respondent’s age, type of health insurance and location (rural, suburban, or urban).

The patient survey is part of the Telehealth Impact Study prepared by the coalition’s Telehealth Work Group led by Mayo Clinic and MITRE, with team members from  the American Medical Association, American Telemedicine Association, Change Healthcare, Digital Medicine Society, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, MassChallenge HealthTech, Savvy Cooperative, and The Mighty, and builds upon a previous survey of physicians.   

Topline findings show strong patient support for telehealth, including:

  • 78% felt their health concern could be addressed via telehealth
  • 78% said they received telehealth service from their own provider
  • 76% indicated that telehealth removed transportation as a barrier
  • 79% reported they found it easy to use the technology
  • 83% felt patient-physician communication was strong
  • 79% said they were satisfied with their telehealth visit
  • 83% reported good overall visit quality

“It’s really encouraging to see that the high satisfaction scores are consistent across age ranges, insurance type, and regardless of whether the patient lives in an urban, suburban, or rural location,” said Steve Ommen, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care and one of the study’s co-investigators. “The experience with telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic has opened everyone’s eyes as the potential to deliver healthcare in much more safe and convenient ways. I think that years from now, we will point to 2020 as the year that the potential of digital care delivery became a reality, as long as the regulatory and reimbursement environment is conducive to its growth.”

Dr. John Halamka, president of the Mayo Clinic Platform and co-chair of the coalition, said, “When asked what they would have done during COVID-19 if they didn’t have telehealth access, more than 50% of respondents said they would delay their care. This had been a large problem across the country over the past year and is a strong argument for expanding telehealth services.”

Dr. Jay Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer and co-chair of the coalition, added, “Both physicians and patients overwhelmingly agree that telehealth is one byproduct of the pandemic that can and should continue on in the ‘next normal.’ COVID-19 has highlighted how our healthcare system needs more tools to serve patients safely and conveniently, and telehealth, when done right, has firmly established itself as an effective option in the patient-care toolbox of today and the future.”

Views from Members of the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Telehealth Work Group

  • Susan R. Bailey, president, American Medical Association (AMA)

“The COVID-19 pandemic upended healthcare access as millions of patients were required to stay at home and many medical offices closed or sharply reduced in-person services. For many patients, especially those with chronic conditions or at high risk for severe impact from COVID-19, the ability to access their physicians through telehealth services enabled safe, effective care as the pandemic continued. It should come as no surprise that patients report positive experiences with telehealth and want to continue using it after the pandemic. Many physicians and patients can’t imagine reverting to the pre-pandemic barriers to widespread telehealth coverage, but a number of challenges will need to be addressed to preserve and improve the landscape for telehealth coverage in the future. The AMA is working to ensure that telehealth is appropriately used to expand access to care and resolve inequities.”

  • Ann Mond Johnson, chief executive officer, American Telemedicine Association (ATA)

“Patients are making their support for telehealth heard loud and clear, including their expectation to continue to use telehealth post-pandemic. These survey results further validate the urgent need to make telehealth services permanently available as part of a two-channel care delivery system that includes both in-person and virtual care. We continue to advocate for needed legislation, at both the federal and state levels, that will modernize healthcare delivery in order to provide convenient, quality care to all people, no matter where they live.”

  • Tim Suther, senior vice president and general manager, data solutions, Change Healthcare

“Telehealth utilization rose dramatically during the pandemic, with profound implications for future healthcare delivery. Our collaboration with the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition helps ensure the most important questions about telehealth are answered responsibly and with scientific integrity.”

  • Jennifer Goldsack, executive director, Digital Medicine Society (DiMe)

“These findings underscore patient support for telehealth, clearly indicating the central role of telehealth in the post-COVID era. All of us working to improve patient lives through improved access to, experience of, and outcomes from their care, must now recognize telehealth as an essential component of patient-focused care.”

  • Barbra G. Rabson, president and chief executive officer, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP)

“These findings are consistent with what we are hearing from patients in the surveys MHQP has conducted. While patients report overall that they are quite comfortable using telehealth to access care, particularly patients with chronic conditions, we still have much work to do to improve the technology and training in order to deliver fully on the promise of telehealth for patients of all ages.”

  • Francis X. Campion, co-investigator, MITRE

“The Telehealth Impact Study has captured what we are all learning during the pandemic. Both my patients and physician colleagues are excited to have telehealth as an option. It’s clear that telehealth enables more timely and connected care.”

“The results of this study underscore what patients have known for a long time — that telehealth is a powerful tool that allows a person to meaningfully connect with their provider without disrupting their life. Over the past year, this has been an invaluable way for patients to stay on top of their care and is something that has long-term benefits to patients and providers alike beyond the current pandemic.”

  • Sara Ray, Vice President of Community Insights, The Mighty

“The Telehealth Impact Study has done the important work of measuring the impact of new technologies on access to healthcare during the pandemic. Our members were excited to participate in informing this important work with the patient perspective and their lived experiences to help make telehealth even better moving forward.”

About the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition

The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition is a private-sector-led response to the COVID-19 pandemic that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups. It coordinates members’ collective expertise, capabilities, data, and insights to preserve the healthcare delivery system and help protect U.S. populations. Learn more at https://C19HCC.org.

Media contact:

Mike Murphy

media@mitre.org


COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Surveys Physicians on Telehealth Impact During COVID-19 

Nationwide Survey Finds Overall Satisfaction but Obstacles Remain 

McLean, VA, and Bedford, MA, November 17, 2020 — Today the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition – comprising more than 1,000 healthcare organizations, technology firms, and nonprofits – published the Telehealth Impact Physician Survey. More than 75% of respondents said telehealth enabled them to provide quality care for COVID-19-related care, acute care, chronic disease management, hospital/emergency department follow-up, care coordination, preventative care, and mental/behavioral health. 

The 48-question survey captured the opinions of 1,594 physicians and other qualified healthcare professionals between July 13 and August 15, 2020. Among those surveyed, 87% were medical doctors and 13% were non-physician providers including nurse practitioners, psychologists, physician assistants, and social workers. 

The survey is part of the Telehealth Impact Study prepared by the coalition’s Telehealth Work Group, comprised of the American Medical Association, American Telemedicine Association, Change Healthcare, Digital Medicine Society, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, MassChallenge HealthTech, Mayo Clinic, and MITRE. 

Topline findings show strong support for telehealth: 

  • 60% reported that telehealth has improved the health of their patients. 
  • 68% report they’re motivated to increase telehealth use in their practices. 
  • 11% said they were using remote patient monitoring technologies with patients in their homes. Commonly used tools included smartphones, blood pressure cuffs, body weight scales, and pulse oximeters. 
  • 55% indicated that telehealth has improved the satisfaction of their work. 
  • More than 80% of respondents indicated that telehealth improved the timeliness of care for their patients. A similar percentage said that their patients have reacted favorably to using telehealth for care. 
  •  

“The strong support shown for telehealth, as evidenced in these results, reinforces the knowledge that telehealth is critical to how we deliver healthcare today,” said Dr. Steve Ommen, medical director, Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care, and one of the study’s co-investigators. “The use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights its importance in care delivery. Its continued use will be instrumental in connecting to patients everywhere.” 

Barriers and Challenges 

The survey also found barriers and challenges still exist and/or are anticipated beyond the pandemic. For example: 

  •  73.3% indicated that no or low reimbursement will be a major challenge post-COVID. (Note: The government adapted many regulations to enable telehealth during the pandemic.)
  • More than 64% said technology challenges for patients were a barrier to the sustainable use of telehealth. These perceived challenges included lack of access to technology and/or internet/broadband, as well as low digital literacy.58% are not able to currently access their telehealth technology directly from their electronic health records.  
  •  

Dr. John Halamka, president of the Mayo Clinic Platform and co-chair of the coalition, said, “In addition to technology and policy change during covid-19, we’ve had culture change. Patients will expect more virtual care even after we return to the new normal post vaccination.” 

Dr. Jay Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer and co-chair of the coalition, added, “COVID-19 has severely tested our nation’s healthcare delivery. As we navigate this pandemic, we need to evaluate the efficacy of all tools available to serve patients safely. This survey provides valuable insight into physicians’ adoption of telehealth, and we look forward to adding the patients’ perspective in the near future.” 

Views from Members of the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Telehealth Work Group 

  • Dr. Susan R. Bailey, president, American Medical Association (AMA)  

“Telehealth and remote care services have proven critical to the management of COVID-19, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions. How telehealth will be used after the pandemic is in the balance, and no one wants to see new access to telehealth suddenly halted. The time is now for government officials, physicians, patients, and other stakeholders to work together on a solid plan to support telehealth services going forward. Future telehealth policies should be data driven, and the Telehealth Impact Study provides important insights to guide necessary decisions.” 

  • Ann Mond Johnson, chief executive officer, American Telemedicine Association (ATA)  

“As evidenced by the results of the Telehealth Impact Physician Survey, COVID-19 has allowed telehealth to prove its value as a safe, effective, and necessary care delivery option that can provide quality care to patients when and where they need it. Telehealth is also helping to address several challenges that have been exacerbated by and will continue long after the pandemic, including a severe provider shortage and a growing gap in access to care for rural communities and our most vulnerable populations. Telehealth did not create these problems but offers a cost-effective solution to a failing healthcare system. By extending access to care, improving efficiencies, and reducing healthcare spending, telehealth creates a hybrid care delivery system of in-person and virtual care, bringing healthcare into the 21st century.” 

  • Tim Suther, senior vice president and general manager, data solutions, Change Healthcare  

“Helping the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition produce important findings is crucial to everyone’s overall health and well-being during the pandemic. These findings provide critical insights to healthcare policy and strategy decision makers, and will help to enable superior healthcare experiences for both patients and their care providers.” 

  • Jennifer Goldsack, executive director, Digital Medicine Society (DiMe)  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the rapid adoption of telehealth. The Telehealth Impact Study provides some of the first evidence that the increase in remote patient monitoring has been much more limited. This critical finding demands further exploration to ensure that the full promise of high-quality telehealth is realized and sustainable over time.” 

  • Barbra G. Rabson, president and chief executive officer, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP)  

“In MHQP’s work surveying clinicians about their telehealth experiences we have found a high degree of variation with clinician satisfaction and adaption of telehealth. Clearly telehealth can fill an important and longstanding need in our health system, but we still have a long way to go to make telehealth a viable option for all patients.” 

  • Nick Dougherty, managing director, MassChallenge HealthTech (MCHT 

“It’s clear that telehealth is here to stay. As we’ve seen firsthand throughout the pandemic, digital solutions in healthcare can have a transformative impact on patients’ lives. But these solutions must have the right incentive structures to truly realize their full potential. In the Telehealth Impact Study, we found digital access to care is not only possible across a variety of indications, but also to a high degree of satisfaction.” 

  • Dr. Francis X. Campion, co-investigator, MITRE  

“During COVID-19 the move to telehealth has been broad and deep, serving patients with a wide variety of health needs in every state. We are learning rapidly and now have the responsibility to integrate digital methods into the workflow to improve the value of care.” 

About the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition 

The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition is a private-sector-led response to the COVID-19 pandemic that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups. It coordinates members’ collective expertise, capabilities, data, and insights to preserve the healthcare delivery system and help protect U.S. populations. Learn more at https://C19HCC.org

EDITOR’S NOTE: 

The coalition is seeking individuals 18 or older, living in the U.S., who have had a telehealth visit during the COVID-19 period since March 11, 2020, to take a survey of their impressions of telehealth. More information is available athttps://c19hcc.org/telehealth/patient-survey-analysis/

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