While the onset of the pandemic sparked a spike in telehealth visits, virtual healthcare is not just a trend that’s come and gone. According to McKinsey, even though utilization levels have reduced some since 2020, telehealth utilization levels are still 38 times higher than before the pandemic. Virtual healthcare is here to stay – and for good reason.
A survey — a collaborative effort from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard — found that 42% of households had used telehealth in recent months, and of those who did, 82% expressed wide satisfaction with their telehealth visits.
More choices for the consumer
What’s clear today is that having the option to choose between virtual or in-person care matters more than ever. That’s because everyone’s health journey and healthcare preferences are unique to them and their circumstances. One individual might want to be seen in office if they’re experiencing new or extreme symptoms, for example, while someone else with minor, more common symptoms might prefer the convenience of a quick virtual visit. Some may prefer in-person visits as they can more easily build rapport with their doctors and nurses, while others may prefer to avoid the inconvenience of traveling to and from the doctor’s office.
Digital perks that expand access
While preferences between in-person versus virtual care will always ebb and flow, one major, undeniable perk of telehealth is that it makes healthcare accessible to more people. Those who work in jobs where it’s difficult to step away for a doctor’s visit and those who live in rural areas where there’s less access to doctors all stand to benefit from having virtual care options. According to the Center for American Progress, while only 14% of Americans live in rural areas, those same communities represent nearly two-thirds of primary care health professional shortage areas. Telehealth is an innovative and effective way of bridging the gap.
The right care when you need it most
Telehealth has always been a priority at Gravie, and we’re excited to announce that starting October 1, 2022 we’ll be offering new and renewing members a new telehealth option through our partnership with Teladoc Health, a widely recognized leader and pioneer in the virtual care space.*
This partnership is centered around putting the consumer first. Members can get the care they need whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. Through Teladoc Health, Gravie health plan members will have access to virtual care including general medicine, dermatology, and mental health (18+).
Teladoc Dermatology can help members receive expert skin care quickly and confidentially, at a time when individuals are waiting weeks and sometimes months to get an in-office dermatology appointment. This digital dermatology service provides care from licensed dermatologists for persistent or serious skin issues like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, moles, rashes, and more. In 24 hours or less, members can get a diagnosis, customized treatment plan and prescriptions if needed.
What’s more, Teladoc mental health care includes clinical services such as psychiatry and therapy visits, and non-clinical services such as mental health coaching and digital programs.
No need to fear, Comfort™ members are always able to visit their primary care doctor without a copay, at no cost to them. However, access to Teladoc’s virtual capabilities is yet one more option for members to be seen quickly and in the comfort of their home.
Brokers looking to provide best-in-class health plans to their clients and members will have comfort and confidence in knowing they’re providing access to healthcare that best suits everyone’s needs and preferences.
With open enrollment season approaching, it’s time to make the switch to Gravie. Contact us to get started.
*Non-clinical services such as mental health coaching and digital programs will be available to new and renewing groups beginning January 1, 2023.