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. The Alliance is also adding COVID-19 research and reports to this page. Finally, 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
|Study Group||Telehealth Polls: Summary||Date of Publication||Link to survey|
|Seniors||A new poll of more than 1,000 seniors found 52% are comfortable using telehealth to receive health care. Of those who have used telehealth during the coronavirus, 91% reported a favorable experience, and 78% are likely to complete a medical appointment via telehealth again in the future.||May, 2020||Additional information can be found here.|
|Findings 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, 2020||Additional information can be found here.
|Adults||A 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, 2020||Additional 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, 2020||Additional information can be found here.|
|Providers||A 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, 2020||Additional 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, 2020||Additional 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, 2020||Additional 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, 2020||Additional information can be found here.|
|Other||The 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, 2020||Additional information can be found here.|
|Title||Summary||Date of Publication||Link to study|
|Telehealth claim lines increased more than 8,335% in April: Fair Health||According to April 2020 FAIR Health data, telehealth claim lines increased 8,335% nationally from April 2019 to April 2020 – with the most pronounced increase in the Northeast at more than 26,00 - further indicating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.||July 2020||Link to Healthcare Dive article can be found here.
FAIR Health data can be found here.
|The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Transformation of Telehealth||According to March 2020 FAIR Health data, telehealth claim lines increased 4,347% nationally from March 2019 to March 2020 – with the most pronounced increase in the Northeast at more than 15,500% - further indicating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also worthy to note that most of the increase was found in mental health.||June 2020||Link to US News article can be found here.
FAIR Health data can be found here.
|Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?||The claims-based analysis suggests that approximately 20 percent of all emergency room visits could potentially be avoided via virtual urgent care offerings, 24 percent of healthcare office visits and outpatient volume could be delivered virtually, and an additional 9 percent “near-virtually.” Furthermore, up to 35 percent of regular home health attendant services could be virtualized, and 2 percent of all outpatient volume could be shifted to the home setting, with tech-enabled medication administration. Overall, these changes add up to $250 billion in healthcare spend in 2020 that could be shifted to virtual or near-virtual care, or 20 percent of all office, outpatient, and home health spend across Medicare, Medicaid, and commercially insured populations. |
Consumer adoption has skyrocketed, from 11% of US consumers using telehealth in 2019 to 46% now using telehealth to replace canceled healthcare visits -- 76% of respondents indicated they were interested in using telehealth going forward -- 74% reported high satisfaction
In addition, providers have rapidly scaled offerings and are seeing 50 to 175 times more telehealth visits - with 57% viewing telehealth more favorably now than they did pre-COVID-19.
|May 2020||The full text of the study can be found here.|
|Medicare members using telehealth grew 120 times in early weeks of COVID-19 as regulations eased||The number of Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth skyrocketed in the early weeks of the pandemic. Almost 1.3 million members received telehealth services in the week ending April 18, compared to just 11,000 in the week ending March 7, according to current Medicare claims data — an increase of more than 11,718% in just a month and a half.||May 2020||The full text of the article can be found here.|
|Outcomes||Summary||Date of Publication||Link 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, 2020||The 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, 2020||The 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, 2019||The 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, 2019||The 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, 2018||The 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, 2017||The full text of the study can be found here.|
|Feasibility/Cost-Effectiveness of Telemedicine||Summary||Date of Publication||Link 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, 2018||The 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, 2018||The 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, 2014||The 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, 2008||The full text of the study can be found here.|
|Telemedicine and Clinical Outcomes||Summary||Date of Publication||Link 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, 2016||The 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, 2014||The 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, 2012||The full text of the study can be found here.|