Telehealth at a crossroads as office visits resume

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Telehealth continues to seek its new level in the combination of post-pandemic treatments as technology transitions to a more permanent and established role in healthcare.

With telehealth visit usage stabilizing in late 2021 at around 38 times pre-pandemic levels according to widely published reports, FAIR Health’s latest Monthly Regional Telehealth Tracker found that telehealth usage “has fell nationwide for the second consecutive month” in March, following a downtrend that began in early 2022.

FAIR said the decline in telehealth this year is “likely due to the continued reduction in the reported number and severity of COVID-19 infections, which may have led to more patients returning to health services in nobody”.

With more patients willing to see a doctor in person after two years of heavy reliance on telehealth visits, the technology is at a crossroads, having proven its usefulness and now being evaluated for its applications in chronic care as opposed to treatment. acute like COVID.

Presenting the second quarter financials in late July, the category stalwart Teladoc noted that amid a general slowdown in usage, the platform and technology are performing well in management use cases. chronic diseases, indicating that this will be a major priority for providers in the future.

In comments to analysts, Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic said the company’s second quarter bright spot “was primarily driven by chronic care revenue, where enrollments exceeded our expectations. As reported earlier in the year, we expected chronic care enrollment growth to be weighted toward the second half of 2022.”

In February, Teladoc launched its Chronic Care Complete telehealth condition management solution with early recognition that the spike in COVID-19 use was seriously waning. Building on this, Teladoc announced its Primary360 offering in July, offering a suite of home and remote tools for remote chronic disease management.

See also: Telehealth industry redoubles focus on convenient care and smarter virtual visits

Telehealth wants to be telemedicine

A benchmark for the industry, Teladoc’s metrics are designed to bring telehealth into the treatment mainstream with remote monitoring, which can be helpful in controlling costs.

With months of inflation on the brink of recession, consumers are cutting spending in many areas, perhaps most alarmingly in healthcare, which telehealth could help remedy.

According to the July study The Healthcare Conundrum: The Impact of Unexpected Patient Costs on Care, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Experian Health, “19% of patients overall experienced financial hardship due to healthcare costs because that they spent more than they could afford in the last 12 months. month.”

This study added that “32% of American patients made a doctor’s appointment and then canceled it and those who live from paycheck to paycheck with problems paying their bills were the most likely to do so, at 56%”.

Get the study: The healthcare conundrum: the impact of unexpected patient costs on care

The emerging field of digital therapy is one of the ways telehealth is transforming into true telemedicine, promising to ensure that video medical visits have their place in the treatment flow.

In a recent interview, Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA) CEO Andy Molnar told PYMNTS that there are currently 23 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved digital treatments. which are administered digitally on smartphones and tablets.

The DTA is a key advocate for the Digital Prescription Therapy Access Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced in March to expedite the creation of Medicare benefit coding to guide therapy pricing. digital prescription and payment for these treatments.

Molnar told PYMNTS: “It would give us the ability to get coding for individual products or at least by disease state or disorder and allow CMS to just look at the clinical data and decide if they want to pay for it. , which is what we want to happen.

See also: Post-COVID evolution of telemedicine paves the way for digital therapies and diagnostics

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NEW PYMNTS SURVEY FINDS 3 IN 4 CONSUMERS HAVING HIGH DEMAND FOR SUPER APPS

About: Results from PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, UK and USA. and showed strong demand for one super multi-functional app rather than using dozens of individual apps.

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