THE CONNXION – VOLUME 01, ISSUE 02
Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve seen immense changes in healthcare, especially with the rise of telehealth. And the statistics behind telehealth’s surge in popularity are revealing:
In 2022, 67% of participants in a consumer study reported using telehealth services, compared to 37% before the pandemic.
In the same study, 94% of participants stated they would “definitely” or “probably” use telehealth services in the future, with over 60% citing their primary reasons for prioritizing telehealth as, “convenience, quick service, and easier access to health information.”1
And across the board, industry experts don’t anticipate these numbers declining anytime soon. In fact, they predict telehealth will see an even greater rise in 2023, with the following trends leading the way:
Continued Expansion of Access to Telehealth Services for Employees
As a result of the pandemic, technological literacy saw a necessary and dramatic rise, across many age demographics and sectors. Grocery shopping done from one’s phone became widespread. Jobs shifted from being performed in-office to going fully remote. Zoom calls that were once tricky to navigate became second nature to many. And doctors’ offices had to adapt to their own set of restrictive measures by offering a never-before-seen number of virtual appointments to patients.
In July of 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives, with bipartisan support, passed a bill that furthered the practice of reimbursing health providers for telehealth services. And in 2023, it can be expected that more employer-sponsored health plans will focus on improving access to mental health services to reduce burnout among employees. In fact, 55% of employers plan to expand their virtual health offerings this year, according to a Business Group on Health survey.2 Now, more than ever, employers are understanding the impact benefits have on retaining and attracting top professionals, and the added flexibility and accessibility that telehealth provides to employees helps address this potential employer crisis.
2. Health Equality Will Improve
It should be a given that quality and affordable healthcare would be made accessible to everyone regardless of patient location, economic status, gender, or race but, unfortunately, that’s not always been the case. The American Medical Association believes that telehealth can help close the gap regarding health inequalities by addressing issues and offering solutions to various divides.3 A recent study published in Oxford Academic evaluated how access to telehealth services was impacted by mapped social determinants of health (SDOH), as determined by driving distance to the nearest hospital, revealing that “patient telehealth findings suggest that improving access to telehealth infrastructure and technology may correlate to expanded reach and benefits to care.”4
3. Expect Greater Strides in Patient Care
While telehealth is on the rise, we can also expect certain related elements of health technology to be as well. With wearable fitness trackers and medical devices, health data is now more easily tracked by much of the population. According to the U.S. Health Information National Trends Survey, 34.4 million people at risk of cardiovascular disease use wearable health devices.5 With 80% of consumers willing to wear fitness technology added to the shift to telehealth, you can expect to see more gadgets this year geared towards mental and physical health reports that are shared with healthcare providers.6 Greater access to health data leads to greater intervention and access to care, and we can expect both employers and employees to benefit from the strides in care that these technological devices will bring in the years to come.
2023 and Beyond
Based on these findings, 2023, and beyond, will see a greater need for advancements in software features and personalized interactive interfaces that provide an enhanced and proactive approach to virtual care. As an industry-leading provider of claims processing and benefits administration technology, WLT Software is excited to promote the trend of virtual-based care by advancing employer-based telehealth offerings through a partnership with Recuro Health, Regardless of an employee’s location or circumstance, Recuro Health’s virtual care services and supplemental benefits offer each user a personalized approach to health
care with virtual offerings for chronic, primary, urgent, and behavioral care, and supplemental benefits including medical device data integration, pharmacy, care management, advocacy, and physician locater. With Recuro Health, WLT Software is able to offer members a virtual care experience that is digitally integrated, patient-centric, and focused on personalized health and wellness, whenever and wherever care is needed, regardless of time or distance, allowing patients who are in rural or underserved areas to still have adequate healthcare even if their provider is many miles away.
Further, with the utilization of Recuro Health’s unique MyLifeIQ and Digital Medical Home™ platforms, available as part of WLT’s MediConnX 360 solution, WLT clients are moved beyond point solution care services, transforming fragmented, disease-focused health care into a hyper-personalized, fully integrated, benefit-agnostic solution that supports seamless and proactive engagement at lower costs, helping to solve the problems typically associated with disjointed, multiple-point solutions and sub-optimal patient engagement.
Telehealth is not just about enabling patients to see providers in the comfort of their own homes – it’s also about user-centric capabilities that lower the overall cost of care for both employers and employees.
To learn more about telehealth solutions that can better serve businesses and their employees, visit www.recurohealth.com/solutions/