ICYMI: Telehealth Reduced Need for In-Person Follow-Ups, New Study Finds
Telehealth Reduces the Need for Follow-Up Appointments Compared to In-Person Care Among a Majority of Specialties
In case you missed it, a new study from Epic Research conducted between January 2022 and March 2023 found that when using telehealth, 16 out of 24 specialties reduced the need for a follow-up appointment when compared to traditional in-person care.
The study, which covered more than 40,000,000 specialty and 32,000,000 primary care encounters, found that in some specialties such as mental health, physical therapy, and pain medicine, there was at least a 20 percent reduction in the need for follow-ups when using telehealth compared to traditional in-person care. For example, the study shows that in mental health care, a specialty that has repeatedly shown strong compatibility with telehealth services, only 9.53 percent of initial telehealth visits resulted in the need for an in-person follow-up, compared to 40.28 percent of in-person initial visits needing an in-person follow-up.
The study concludes by saying, “telehealth can continue to play an important role in care delivery across specialties without requiring additional visits for many patients.” These findings emphasize the fact that telehealth is a vital resource for all, and is particularly essential for those who have difficulty attending regular appointments, such as the mental health patients, the elderly, and patients with chronic pain conditions.
Congress must safeguard access to telehealth by creating permanent virtual care access now.
ABOUT TELEHEALTH ACCESS FOR AMERICA
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.