Virtual healthcare has become the new normal since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, with McKinsey & Company finding that the popularity of virtual primary care increased substantially in April 2020.
Despite the potential to improve healthcare plans and reach more people, there still exist considerable barriers to the extensive adoption of virtual care. These include discomfort toward technology among individuals, especially older people, and the perception that the technology used is not secure. For the use of telehealth to continue growing, these barriers need to be addressed.
A separate survey also found that virtual care is convenient and can also help save costs in businesses.
Cigna senior VP of growth Louis DeStefano states that small businesses can benefit from offering virtual care to employees because it not only lowers costs and keep individuals with chronic conditions healthier but also saves time. DeStefano added that virtual care also offered flexibility to small businesses because it allows employees to access care wherever they are, whenever and however they want.
The survey, which was conducted by Cigna in collaboration with Insider Studios, Dynata and Oscar, found that at least 60% of decision makers and small-business owners admitted that they limited insurance-plan options due to high costs. The survey also found that more than 70% of decision makers and owners of small business reported that health insurance didn’t take into account small businesses.
In addition to this, 70% of employees and more than 65% of owners of small businesses revealed that virtual care increased productivity and helped save time, with the majority of decision makers and business owners agreeing that virtual care could make healthcare more affordable and accessible to everyone.
Furthermore, almost 60% maintained that they would switch benefits if it could enable their employees to talk with a physician for no copay, as long as it was affordable for the company. It helps that telehealth programs are cost effective, in addition to virtual care being a less-expensive option for common illnesses such as urinary tract infections, pink eye and sore throat.
Virtual care works best when the primary-care physician for a patient also provides telehealth, in comparison to patients seeing physicians who are unfamiliar with their health history. Small businesses are advised to consider the use of health insurance that provides virtual care services that are user friendly and beneficial, with different options for virtual care.
It should be noted that virtual care complements in-person care when access and convenience is the main priority. It is, however, not meant to replace physical visits to the doctor.
As more companies such as RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) focus on enabling the switch to digital healthcare, we will see a lot more people opting for virtual care due to the numerous benefits that this option brings to the table.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RYAH
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