American Well’s 2019 Consumer Survey Finds Majority of Consumers Open to Telehealth, Adoption Continues to Grow

Telehealth company American Well today announced the findings of its Telehealth Index: 2019 Consumer Survey. The results show that 66 percent of Americans are willing to use telehealth, and 8 percent have actually had a telehealth visit with a doctor. However, while consumers recognize that telehealth is fast, convenient, and cost-saving, 17 percent of the consumers willing to try virtual care are not sure if their insurance plan covers the service. That means the telehealth industry needs to increase consumer education and awareness around telehealth’s availability and value.

“We, as providers, have an enormous opportunity to improve our patients’ experience by incorporating telehealth into the care journey,” said American Well Chief Medical Officer Dr. Peter Antall. “Oftentimes, patients are overwhelmed as to where the most appropriate care setting is, which results in patients making unnecessary ER visits or delaying doctor visits for critical issues. By offering tailored telemedicine programs to engage patients and deliver care, we can truly reach the Triple Aim—improvement in cost, care, and patient experience.”

American Well commissioned Harris Poll to conduct an online study among more than 2,000 adults to measure usage of and sentiment toward telehealth. The results are weighted to be representative of the American adult population across standard demographics.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Convenience and cost drive adoption. Of the 66 percent of recipients who said they are willing to use telehealth, 61 percent said they would do so for convenience and faster service, while 54 percent say they’d use it to save money.
  • Millennials lead the way with telehealth usage. Of 18- to 34-year old respondents, 74 percent say they would be willing to use telehealth. Among people ages 35-44, 72 percent would be willing to use the technology.
  • Don’t rule out seniors. Today’s seniors don’t want to wait for care, whether in scheduling or service, and 73 percent of the seniors who are willing to try telehealth point to faster service as the biggest motivator. Additional telehealth reimbursement for seniors participating in Medicare Advantage plans starting in 2020 could also increase seniors’ participation.
  • Consumers delay care because it takes too long to see a doctor and due to cost. Seventy percent of respondents said they had delayed seeking care for a health problem. Although the most common reason for the delay is thinking the problem would go away, the second and third most common reasons are that it takes too long to see the doctor and the cost is too high.
  • People are increasingly adopting personal health monitoring devices and health apps. According to the report, two-thirds of consumers use personal health monitoring devices and 51 percent use mobile health apps.

“The industry recognizes telehealth’s enormous potential, and analysts continue to indicate its market growth in the coming years,” said American Well CEO Roy Schoenberg. “Through this survey, we’ve learned that consumers see value in telehealth and want to use it for a variety of reasons—urgent care, behavioral health, and chronic care management, to name a few.”

Read the full press release here.

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