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It now takes an average of 24 days* to get a doctor’s appointment. As a result, consumers, particularly those under 40 years old, are migrating away from traditional physician relationships. Only 1 in 3 people under age 45 even start with a primary care physician for common medical issues**, opting instead for convenient care options like retail clinics or urgent care practices. Reinventing the way health systems and physicians deliver care is something that virtually enabled care offers in response to growing consumer needs and preferences.
For older patients who may have limited mobility, patients in remote areas as well as those suffering from chronic ailments or issues that restrict mobility, virtual care can be a crucial and accessible care option. Even though this older demographic is slow to adopt digital health technologies, they routinely seek out healthcare information online. Convenience and virtual care have become synonymous in what this effective and efficient care option offers consumers.
Aside from the abundant convenience benefits of virtually enabled care, there are also cost advantages. According to an Oliver Wyman 2018 report in US News & World Report, out-of-pocket costs for health consumers have risen 230% over the past decade and as more of us take on the burdens associated with coverage, value and choice become decision motivators when it comes to selecting care options. The average cost per in-person visit is $125 but the average cost for a virtual care visit is around $45. Additionally, all Medicaid agencies now cover some form of telehealth or virtual care, and payers in 48 states now cover virtual physician consultations.
Virtually enabled care is exactly what the patient/consumer has ordered when it comes to gaining more accessible, effective and convenient care. To find out how you can set up an online appointment using your mobile phone or computer, simply visit http://www.virtualcaremi.com to connect with a Trinity Health or Ascension medical professional in your area.
*Merritt Hawkins survey **Kaiser Family Foundation