ICYMI: New Study Finds That Virtual Care Can Reduce Unnecessary ER and Urgent Care Visits by 19 Percent

Jan 28, 2022

Analysis Finds Telehealth Prevents Duplication of Services and Helps Patients With No Primary Provider Access Care

Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it, a recent study conducted by Cigna found access to virtual care reduces unnecessary emergency room visits, prevents duplicative care, and diminishes behavioral visit wait time. As reported in a recent article by Fierce Healthcare, the study was conducted in tandem with MDLive, Cigna’s telehealth arm, and found that “virtual urgent care visits reduced duplication of care by 16 percent compared to other virtual primary care providers or specialists,” and “patients who saw virtual providers also saw 19 percent fewer visits to the ER or urgent care.” 

The analysis also found telehealth can shorten the average wait time to see a behavioral clinician from an average of 48 days to just two or three days. In a Cigna statement regarding the study, Shawna Dodds, vice president of product development, emphasized the importance of telehealth access stating that “for many of our customers, virtual care continues to be the best way to meet their needs in a cost-effective manner.” 

Telehealth has shown to achieve better health outcomes, greater health equity, lower costs, improved quality of life, and increased patient and caregiver choice. But telehealth access remains at risk and Congress must act to permanently protect access to virtual care for patients in every American community.

Read the full study from Cigna HERE.

Read more on how Congress can act to protect telehealth access HERE.


Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services. Learn more and take action today at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.