On the Rise: Survey Shows Telehealth a Top Priority for Healthcare

As we move further into 2016, it’s becoming abundantly clear just how much industry interest is gathering towards telehealth, with particular attention paid to the use of this technology for population health management and cost-saving purposes.

To delve deeper into providers’ attitudes towards telehealth, REACH Health surveyed 390 healthcare executives, physicians, nurses, and other professionals to assess how they view the technology and plan to implement it in their day-to-day care delivery.

We thought the following findings from the survey were of particular interest:

  • Patient Convenience: 62 percent of respondents rated this objective as highly successful, 36 percent said it was moderately successful, and 2 percent said it was unsuccessful.
  • Patient Outcomes: 55 percent of respondents rated this objective as highly successful, 43 percent said it was moderately successful, and 2 percent said it was unsuccessful.
  • Patient Engagement: 44 percent of respondents rated this objective as highly successful, 52 percent said it was moderately successful, and 3 percent said it was unsuccessful.
  • Return on Investment: 18 percent of respondents rated this objective as highly successful, 60 percent said it was moderately successful, and 15 percent said it was successful.

Perhaps the most encouraging statistic was this: 2/3 of respondents named telemedicine as the top or one of the highest priorities for their organization in 2016.

As the survey demonstrates, the interest in telehealth is at an all time high, with demonstrable success being reported in regards to key, patient-centered tasks. However, there are still significant barriers to achievable ROI, with regulatory and licensing issues continuing to prevent providers from being fully reimbursed for these services.

Moving forward, the next step will be for the CMS to create additional initiatives in a similar vein to Medicare’s Chronic Care Management (CCM), which has been lauded as a pioneering program that encourages the use of telehealth while rewarding providers who employ this technology effectively.

If the above results are any indication, building off the successful model of CCM and setting up effective reimbursements will be a win-win for all parties– as clearly-defined incentives will surely encourage both vendors and providers to further collaborate and develop innovative telehealth strategies to best treat key and underserved patient populations.

About the Author

Patrick Stevenson is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Wellbox, the all-inclusive solution for tracking and billing for Chronic Care Management and Annual Wellness Visits, as well as offering in-demand Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring services.

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