Patient satisfaction with telehealth can vary widely, a study from data analytics firm, J.D. Power said.
While a vast majority of patients surveyed reported preferring telehealth for prescription refills, reviewing medication options and discussing test results, fewer than 5% preferred it for post-surgical discharges.
“When you need to see the patient and you need to closely examine the patient—especially post-surgical—a very small percentage of folks are going to use telehealth.” said Christopher Lis, a managing director in J.D. Power’s Global Healthcare practice.
Lis drew a distinction between services that would likely require physical examination versus those that do not. For example, more than half of the 4,306 respondents reported preferred receiving their mental healthcare services via telehealth.
There was only slight variation in reported satisfaction among providers and payers that offer telehealth services.
“The fundamentals are the same,” Lis said. “Organizations are using very similar technologies. At the end of the day, the intention of using those services is greater access [and] convenience.”
Still, Lis said challenges persist in ensuring telehealth access is equitable.
“Equitable access, I’d put at the top, and continuing to innovate around the things that are most important to the consumer,” Lis said. “Making the services available when they need them the most.”
A study from the US Department of Health and Human Services found “significant disparities” among subgroups utilizing telehealth video services. It found Black, Latino and Asian individuals were less likely to use video telehealth services than white individuals.
While J.D. Power found more than 90% of people would utilize telehealth again, other studies point to declining utilization. Telehealth’s share of overall medical claims has declined in recent months.