News | Telemedicine

Healthcare News of Note: 53% of U.S. adults say they prefer in-person healthcare to telehealth visits moving forward, survey says

News | Telemedicine

Healthcare News of Note: 53% of U.S. adults say they prefer in-person healthcare to telehealth visits moving forward, survey says

  • A majority of U.S. adults said they prefer an in-person visit with their physician over a telehealth visit moving forward, according to a survey.
  • There is a clear disconnect in the information being shared and understood when patients and doctors are together, according to results of another survey.
  • Ochsner’s David Carmouche, MD, has been tapped by Walmart to lead an expansion of its retail healthcare services.

Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.

1. Survey: More than half of U.S. adults prefer in-person healthcare to telehealth visits moving forward

A majority of U.S. adults said they prefer an in-person visit with their physician to a telehealth visit moving forward, according to results of a poll of 2,201 adults conducted Oct. 21-23 and published in a Nov. 3 Morning Consult article.

Although the general public prefers in-person care, survey results show those who previously used telehealth are split on their preference as follows:

  • 45% prefer in-person healthcare.
  • 40% prefer telehealth.
  • 14% have no preference.

Virtual care from physicians preferred over on-demand services

Morning Consult polling also shows “most adults who use telehealth are sticking with virtual care from their doctors over on-demand services,” wrote article author Gaby Galvin.

“Nearly 3 in 4 U.S. adults [72%] who have used telehealth said they’ve accessed virtual care through their regular provider or health plan,” wrote Galvin.

Additionally, 17% received care via a direct-to-consumer, on-demand platform and 11% used both types of services.

Telehealth users rank their experience

Survey results show most U.S. adults had positive experiences with using a telehealth platform compared to in-person services. Responses from 1,138 U.S adults included:

  • 32% — Excellent
  • 52% — Good
  • 13% — Only fair
  • 3% — Poor

2. AHIMA study: A majority of Americans struggle with “fully grasping information discussed with their healthcare provider”

“There is a clear disconnect in the information being shared and understood when patients and doctors are together,” according to the executive summary of a recent study commissioned by the AHIMA Foundation and conducted by Kelton Global.

“A majority of Americans report they aren’t fully grasping the information discussed with their health care provider, leaving many confused and unsure of how to proceed,” wrote the authors of the summary. “This is also true among caregivers who express concern about their loved ones’ understanding and ability to access important information about their own health.”

Confusion about health information is prevalent. Study results show the following for Americans:

  • 62% are not “extremely confident” in the health information discussed with their doctor.
  • 24% don’t understand all the medical information their doctor provides, and 31% indicate they do not “remember it immediately following a visit.”
  • 15% admit they “sometimes feel more confused about their health” after an appointment with their physician.

Communication breakdowns are common between patients and providers. “For many, there seems to be a communication breakdown when they are with their health care provider,” wrote the study authors. For example:

  • 24% leave their appointment without getting clear answers to their questions.
  • 22% are uncomfortable asking their doctor certain health questions.
  • 17% said they didn’t have the chance to ask any questions.

Disparities are evident. The report also describes how various disparities affect the level of comfort people have with a doctor’s recommendations or healthcare information, including:

  • Generation
  • Education
  • Income
  • Ethnicity

“This survey was conducted as a first step to understanding consumer behaviors and identifying solutions that empower consumers with information so they can make more informed decisions about their care,” Anisa Tootla, AHIMA Foundation executive director, stated in the report.

She also noted the foundation’s launch of a “Health Literacy for Health Equity initiative to draw attention to the issue of limited health literacy and its associated poor outcomes, especially in underserved communities.”

3. David Carmouche, MD, to lead Walmart’s omnichannel care organization

David Carmouche, MD, is “leaving his executive post at Ochsner after six years of helping grow the health system’s risk- and value-based care delivery models to lead Walmart’s national expansion into retail health care,” stated a Nov. 2 article in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report.

“In his new role, Carmouche will oversee Walmart’s expanding clinical care offerings and operations, serving as senior vice president of Walmart’s Omnichannel Care Solutions,” wrote author Stephanie Riegel.

“Those expanding offerings are ambitious and moving fast. Walmart is doing more than just opening low-cost, primary care clinics,” wrote Reigel. “It has launched a multiplatform initiative that includes not only primary care services, but lab work, X-rays, dental care, digital medicine, telemedicine and home services.

“What Walmart is doing represents the evolution of health care in the 21st century … .”

Modern Healthcare reported Nov. 3 on Carmouche’s move.

“Carmouche helped coordinate a direct contracting agreement between Ochsner Health and Walmart in 2018 that covers about 6,600 Walmart and Sam's Club associates in Louisiana,” wrote author Alex Kacik. “Walmart has been steadily expanding its direct contracts with hospitals and physician groups to steer employees to select providers.

“The retail giant has also been opening more comprehensive primary care centers inside its stores. These clinics provide chronic disease management, urgent care, mental health counseling” and more. Walmart also recently partnered with Transcarent and, in May, acquired telehealth provider MeMD, Kacik wrote.

HFMA bonus content

Read what Tammie Jackson, 2021-22 HFMA Chair, said about what healthcare finance professionals can do to reduce disparities and promote health equity during her presentation Nov. 9 at HFMA’s Annual Conference. Nick Hut, senior editor with HFMA, covered Jackson’s presentation from the conference floor.

Read an overview of HFMA's 2021 Annual Conference by Nick Hut, senior editor. 

About the Author

Deborah Filipek

is a senior editor with HFMA, Westchester, Ill. 

Sign up for a free guest account and get access to five free articles every month.

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