In a previous article we observed that nearly every medical specialty in healthcare can incorporate Telehealth; we also saw who the driving force is: Millennials.
With over 77 million individuals born between 1982 and 2004, millennials make up nearly 40% of the country’s workforce. Additionally, they are expected to surpass Baby Boomers as the country’s largest living adult generation by next year. Not only do millennials account for almost 25% of the U.S. population, but they are also the first generation to have grown up with the internet, cell phones, and social media all their life. Staying connected, informed and doing so fast and efficiently is expected; this also applies to their health and doctor visits.
For example, booking appointments online allows a person to schedule on their own time (even if it’s 2am), and without the back and forth about what mutual times are available. There’s a freedom to having limited interactions that millennials value and this outlook has significantly influenced how businesses and organizations operate, including in the healthcare industry.
Notable Healthcare and Telemedicine Statistics:
- There are 168 million behavioral health visits in the U.S. every year.
- Towers Watson calculates $6 billion in annual healthcare savings for U.S. employers.
- The Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey found that virtually all employers (96 percent) will make telehealth services available in states where it is allowed next year.
- A 2016 study funded by CVS Health concluded thatbetween 94 and 99% of participants were “very satisfied” with telehealth, and one-third of respondents preferred the telehealth to an in-office visit.
- According to the American Telemedicine Association,studies have shown the quality of telemedicine services to be just as good as traditional, in-person consultations.
- A 2013 study by Truven Health Analytics concluded that only 29% of ED Visits were “not preventable/not avoidable”. The CDC report shows that the U.S. had nearly 137 million E.R. visits last year.
- 28% of millennials do not have a Primary Care Physician (PCP), and another 40% do not have a relationship with their PCP.
- Two-thirds of consumers delay seeking care because it costs too much and takes too long. These points are supported by a study found on the American Journal of Managed Care which found that the average time associated with office visits was 121 minutes. “37 minutes of which was travel time and 84 minutes of clinic time” With only 20 minutes of those minutes in the presence of a doctor.
- “Some 65 million Americans now live in what’s ‘essentially a primary-care desert’ where the total number of Primary Care Doctors (PCP) can only meet 50% or less of the population’s needs.
Why is this important? Telehealth is built to tackle all of these familiar issues. Reaching underserved patients, providing access to more physicians, focusing on preventative care and delivering the same quality of care are just a few things it’s good for. It’s also good for saving time and money, whether you’re the patient, the provider or the payer. If you’re not already offering secure video services in your practice, you should be.