The Alliance for Connected Care has compiled polls on patient and provider adoption, acceptance, and satisfaction with telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Also included below is a list of pre-COVID-19 research and reports on telehealth utilization/adoption, feasibility and cost-effectiveness, and impact on clinical outcomes.  The Alliance will continue to update the charts with telehealth polls and relevant research as they are published.

Click the links below to jump to a table.

Telemedicine Research & Reports – Pre-COVID-19

COVID-19 Telehealth Polls – Patient and Provider Acceptance and Satisfaction

Study GroupTelehealth Polls: SummaryDate of PublicationLink to survey
SeniorsFindings from the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that the majority of older adults have an internet connection and communicate via smartphone, tablet, or computer to talk with friends. However, while 68% of adults 65 and older said they have a computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access at home, only 11% said they have used the device to communicate with a health care provider in the past two weeks. KFF indicates that this number will likely rise as stay-at-home orders are extended. April, 2020Additional information can be found here.
AdultsA March survey found that 59% of the 500 U.S. consumers surveyed said they are more likely to use telehealth services now than previously, and 36% said they would switch their physician in order to have access to virtual care. March, 2020Additional information can be found here.
A survey of 2,000 adults across the U.S. on perceptions of telehealth during COVID-19 found that more than 95% of respondents who had used telehealth said they already have or would consider scheduling another telehealth appointment in the future. The most cited advantages to telehealth were quicker and greater access to care and avoiding overcrowded wait rooms. March, 2020Additional information can be found here.
ProvidersA survey of more than 1,300 physicians found that more than 90% are treating some or all of their patients via telehealth. Additionally, roughly 60% of physicians currently using telemedicine tools during the public health emergency said they plan to use telemedicine more often than they were pre-COVID. April, 2020Additional information can be found here.
A survey of more than 800 physicians found that close to half (48%) are treating patients via telemedicine, up from 18% in 2018. April, 2020Additional information can be found here.
A survey found that all 20 accountable care organizations (ACOs) surveyed are implementing telemedicine solutions, with 16% relying on AI and automation to identify and reach high-risk patients. April, 2020Additional information can be found here.
A survey of more than 600 healthcare providers found that 41% were using telemedicine technology, up from 22 percent in a 2018 survey. In addition, roughly 28% of the practices surveyed offered telehealth-only visits. March, 2020Additional information can be found here.
OtherThe latest Modern Healthcare CEO Survey finds that health system CEOs see a wave of innovation in telehealth over the next year. In addition, 92.9% of CEOs cited telehealth as a technology with the most potential to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic. May, 2020Additional information can be found here.

Telemedicine Research & Reports – Pre-COVID-19

Utilization/Adoption of Telemedicine

OutcomesSummaryDate of PublicationLink to study
Utilization/Adoption of Telemedicine A recent study focused on the use and perceptions of telehealth in rural areas with a focus on Michigan counties, found three major challenges to expanding telehealth options in rural communities including: 1) A lack of funding for program expansion; 2) The need for improved broadband access; and 3) Disparate reimbursement rates for telehealth services from insurance and Medicaid. February, 2020The full text of the study can be found here.
According to an American Medical Association (AMA) survey, the proportion of physicians using virtual patient visits doubled between 2016 and 2019 – although adoption remained low with only 28% of physicians reporting they are currently using virtual visits. February, 2020The full text of the study can be found here.
American Well released a 2019 Consumer Survey finding expectations are changing with increased demand for convenient access to healthcare services. The survey found that 66% of consumers are willing to receive care through telehealth services, with the largest acceptance among those aged 18 to 34 years, followed closely by 35-44-year-olds. While the senior population had the lowest interest, more than half still indicated they would be willing to use telehealth. August, 2019The full text of the study can be found here.
American Well released a 2019 Physician Survey finding that physician telehealth adoption increased 340% since 2015, with 22% of physicians reporting having used video visits to attend to patients in 2018 compared to just 5% in 2015. April, 2019The full text of the study can be found here.
A trends report analyzing place of service found that telehealth service use increased substantially from 2011 to 2016. For example, telehealth use increased 960% in rural areas, 629% in urban areas and 643% nationally. The results also showed that mental health was the number one telehealth-related diagnostic category and accounted for 31% of telehealth claim line distribution in 2016. March, 2018The full text of the study can be found here.
According to a 2018 survey of large employers, 96% said they plan to make telehealth services available in states where it is allowed within one year. In addition, nearly 20% of employers indicated at least 8% of their employees utilized telehealth.August, 2017The full text of the study can be found here.

Feasibility/Cost-Effectiveness of Telemedicine

Feasibility/Cost-Effectiveness of TelemedicineSummaryDate of PublicationLink to study
In a 2018 proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that telemedicine is saving Medicare patients $60 million in travel time, with a projected estimate of $100 million by 2024, and $170 million by 2029. November, 2018The full text of the study can be found here.
A group of physicians and researchers from Kaiser Permanente studied “a novel model of integrating telemedicine seamlessly with patients’ ongoing clinicians, EHRs, and delivery systems.” Their findings showed the feasibility and growing adoption of video visits integrated with ongoing clinical care.October, 2018The full text of the study can be found here.
A study demonstrating the feasibility of and cost of replacing in-person case with acute care telehealth services found that the average estimated cost of a telehealth visit is $40 to $50 per visit compared to the average estimated cost of $136 to $176 for in-person acute care. The study estimated savings per commercial telehealth visit of $126. Also, in Medicare, replacing in-person acute care services with telehealth visits reimbursed at the same rate as a doctor’s office visit could save the Medicare program an estimated $45/visit. The study found a very low likelihood of “induced utilization,” whereby patients who did not previously seek care would now seek care. December, 2014The full text of the study can be found here.
A hybrid model implementing both store-and-forward and real-time video telehealth technologies in emergency rooms, prisons, nursing home facilities and physician offices across the United States predicted savings of roughly $4.3 billion in health care spending per year. June, 2008The full text of the study can be found here.

Telemedicine and Clinical Outcomes

Telemedicine and Clinical OutcomesSummaryDate of PublicationLink to study
The most consistent benefit has been reported when telehealth is used for communication and counseling or remote monitoring in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, with improvements in outcomes such as mortality, quality of life, and reductions in hospital admissions. June, 2016The full text of the study can be found here.
The September 2014 issue of Telemedicine and E-Health featured a systemic review by Dr. Rashid Bashshur and Dr. Gary Shannon from the University of Michigan and the University of Kentucky, respectively, of evidence from studies on the effects of telemedicine in the management of chronic diseases, specifically, congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The review found that remote patient monitoring of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients for disease management resulted in between 15% and 56% decreased mortality, compared to CHF patients who received traditional care. September, 2014The full text of the study can be found here.
Data shows telemental health is as effective, if not more effective at treating depression than traditional face-to-face mental health care. A study of close to 100,000 veterans found that the number of days patients were hospitalized decreased by 25% when using telehealth for counseling services. April, 2012The full text of the study can be found here.