American Well’s 2019 Consumer Survey Finds Majority of Consumers Open to Telehealth, Adoption Continues to Grow
Data signals industry need for education around virtual visits to match patients’ willingness to embrace telehealth—especially to support Seniors’ chronic care needs and Millennials’ desire for behavioral health support
BOSTON – August 27, 2019 – National telehealth leader American Well® announced today the findings of its Telehealth Index: 2019 Consumer Survey. The results show that 66 percent of Americans are willing to use telehealth, and 8 percent have had a telehealth visit with a doctor. While consumers value and recognize telehealth for its convenience, fast service and cost savings, 17 percent of consumers willing to try virtual care are not sure if their insurance plans cover the service, reaffirming the industry need for increased consumer education and awareness around telehealth’s availability and value.
“We, as providers, have an enormous opportunity to improve our patients’ experience by incorporating telehealth into their care journey,” said Dr. Peter Antall, Chief Medical Officer at American Well. “Oftentimes, patients are overwhelmed as to where the most appropriate care setting is, which results in patients making unnecessary ER visits or delaying doctor visits for critical issues. By offering tailored telemedicine programs to engage patients and deliver care, we can truly reach the Triple Aim—improvement in cost, care and patient experience.”
American Well commissioned Harris Poll to conduct an online study among over 2,000 adults to measure usage and sentiment toward telehealth. The results are weighted to be representative of the American adult population across standard demographics.
Key findings of the survey include:
- Convenience and cost drive adoption, but lack of awareness is an issue. Of those who indicate they are willing to use telehealth, 61 percent say they’d use it for convenience and faster service and 54 percent say they’d use it to save money. Moreover, 25 percent of respondents report they’d switch from their current primary care physician to a doctor offering video visits.
- Millennials lead the way with telehealth usage. Findings show that Millennials are most motivated by telehealth’s convenience, with 74 percent of 18-34-year-olds and 72 percent of 35-44-year-olds saying they are willing to use the technology. Millennials are nearly three times as likely to have had a video visit with a doctor compared to other demographics. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of Millennials say they would regularly use telehealth for behavioral health management, also higher than any other age demographic.
- Don’t rule out seniors when it comes to virtual care. Today’s seniors don’t want to wait for care, whether at the point of scheduling or at the point of service. That’s one reason why 73 percent of seniors who are willing to try telehealth point to faster service as the biggest motivator—higher than any other generation. With additional telehealth reimbursement for Medicare beneficiaries participating in Medicare Advantage plans beginning in 2020, there is an increasing opportunity to support seniors’ use of telehealth to manage chronic conditions and for prescription renewals.
- No matter their age, consumers delay care because it takes too long to see a doctor and due to cost. Seventy percent of consumers report that they have delayed seeking care for a health problem. While the most common reason for delaying care is that patients “thought the problem would go away,” the second and third most common reasons are that it “takes too long to see [the] doctor” and “cost.” Higher awareness of telehealth availability could potentially decrease the rates of delayed care.
- Adoption of personal health monitoring devices and health apps is increasing. Two-thirds of consumers use personal health monitoring devices and 51 percent report using mobile health apps. While millennials are more likely to use health apps for nutrition and workouts, older generations are more likely to engage with their pharmacy and health insurance apps.
“We live in a technology-driven age where consumers want easy and quick access to services, and they are open to seeing their doctor via video. Thus, it’s even more critical for hospitals and health systems to rally providers, specialists and patients to use innovative technologies like telehealth to positively impact the overall patient experience,” said Stephen Spielman, Senior Vice President, Houston Methodist. “Our physicians, employees and patients are embracing the convenience of telehealth. We have built a legacy of providing quality care for 100 years, and we expect to continue that legacy as we watch our telehealth program grow.”
Added Roy Schoenberg, CEO at American Well, “The industry recognizes telehealth’s enormous potential, and analysts continue to indicate its market growth in the coming years. At American Well, it’s our goal to work alongside our provider and health plan partners to identify what patients value when it comes to telehealth. Through this survey, we’ve learned that consumers see value in telehealth and want to use it for a variety of reasons—urgent care, behavioral health and chronic care management, to name a few. We will continue to work tirelessly alongside our partners to close the gap between telehealth accessibility and adoption, pointing to successful use cases that show its potential to increase patient satisfaction and provide the best care outcomes.”
For more information, visit www.AmericanWell.com and to access the full Consumer Telehealth Index dataset and eBook visit: https://www.americanwell.com/resources/telehealth-index-2019-consumer-survey/
About American Well
American Well is a leading telehealth platform in the United States and globally, connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher quality care. American Well believes that digital care delivery will transform healthcare. The Company offers a single, comprehensive platform to support all telehealth needs from urgent to acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic care management and healthy living. With over a decade of experience, American Well powers telehealth solutions for over 160 health systems comprised of 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners with over 36,000 employers, covering over 150 million lives. For more information, please visit AmericanWell.com.
American Well, Amwell, Digital First and The Exchange are registered trademarks or trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE: American Well