J.D. Power: Telehealth Usage Surging but Service Issues and Barriers to Access Strain Patient Experience, J.D. Power Finds

Thirty-six percent of patients said they used telehealth in the past year, up from 9 percent in 2020’s survey. However, many users cited limited access to the services they need and inconsistencies in the care they receive.

Following are some key findings of the 2021 study:

  • Telehealth adoption spikes across all generations in 2021: Overall, 36% of patients have accessed telehealth services during the past year, up from just 9% in 2020 and 7% in 2019. Usage is consistent across all generational groups, with the highest usage among members of Generation Y and Pre-Boomers.1
  • Convenience, speed and safety drive utilization: The top reasons for telehealth utilization are convenience (57%); ability to receive care quickly (47%); and safety (36%).
  • Patient satisfaction declines as pain points emerge: Overall satisfaction with both direct-to-consumer and payer-sponsored telehealth services decline in 2021 from 2020. The most frequently cited barriers encountered by patients are limited services (24%); lack of awareness of costs (15%); confusing technology requirements (15%); and lack of information about providers (15%).
  • Uneven care for higher-risk patients: Overall satisfaction is 85 points lower (on a 1,000-point scale) among patients with the lowest self-reported health status than among patients who consider themselves to be in excellent health. Similarly, healthier patients are more likely than less healthy patients to understand the information provided during the visit; say they receive clear explanations; perceive that their visits are highly personalized; and obtain high-quality diagnoses.
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