Survey reveals potential for virtual visits to impact health system referrals
A nationwide survey of 2,016 primary care doctors conducted by American Well® in collaboration with QuantiaMD found that 57 percent of physicians are willing to conduct video visits with their patients. Just 12 percent of physicians were unwilling to see a patient over video, while 31 percent remained uncertain. Work-life balance was the most popular reason physicians cited for seeing patients over video, followed by increased earning opportunity, and improved patient outcomes.
The study “Telehealth Index: 2015 Physician Survey” sought to determine physicians’ perceptions on video doctor visits. Overwhelmingly, 69 percent of physicians cited video as superior to phone or email communication for making accurate diagnoses for new patient consults. Physicians panned email and text messages for clinical assessment, with just 5 percent choosing email as best for diagnosis and only 1 percent saying text is best.
“There’s a sea change going on within the physician community,” said Roy Schoenberg, MD, CEO of American Well. “Doctors see value in virtual visits for their patients and also in managing their own work-life balance. We’ve seen weekly physician inquiries about practicing online triple in less than six months.”
The survey also found that physicians see many clinical applications for video visits beyond urgent care. Among physicians willing to see patients via video, 86 percent believe video visits are appropriate for medication management and prescription renewals; 80 percent saw video visits as appropriate for chronic condition management; and 70 percent gave the thumbs up for behavioral health.
Video Consults May Impact Hospital Referral Patterns
Importantly, the study found evidence that health systems may be able to increase referral revenue by adding peer telehealth consults to their specialty care programs. When asked, 60 percent of all primary care physicians surveyed said that if a nearby hospital offered them a chance to consult with specialists via video, it would increase their likelihood of referring patients to that hospital. Physicians also revealed their priorities for peer clinical consults. Dermatology, psychiatry, infectious disease, pain management, and neurology were the top specialty consults desired by primary care doctors.
Access the full Telehealth Index: 2015 Physician Survey or join the live webinar June 25 to learn more. Physicians interested in a virtual practice can learn more at americanwell.com/telemedicine-physicians.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by American Well, in partnership with QuantiaMD in May 2015. The survey included 2,016 primary care providers from across the country.
About American Well
American Well, the nation’s largest telehealth service, has delivered healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients for close to a decade. Serving the nation’s top health systems, health plans, as well as hundreds of national employers, American Well provides a modern healthcare experience by connecting consumers with board-certified healthcare professionals via video over web or mobile. American Well has the most downloaded telehealth app and became the first company to receive accreditation by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) earlier this year. American Well, Amwell, and Amwell Therapy Associates are trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. For more information, visit AmericanWell.com or follow American Well on Facebook and Twitter.