The 2022 Virtual Care Survey Report from Summus has determined that many healthcare users have responded positively to virtual care services, as they would like to see more out of such offerings.
Virtual care has been a favored service among many healthcare consumers as its users have shared they want more out of it, according to a 2022 Virtual Care Survey Report by Summus.
The demand has increased for its use at a time where healthcare costs are expected to rise 6% this year, up from 5% in 2022, the report said. These rising costs are due to clinical staffing shortages and ongoing supply chain disruptions, creating additional barriers to access to high-quality care across the country.
Rising costs are urging employers to explore new strategies and solutions that reduce costs while also supporting sustainable, people-first benefits that deliver wellbeing and long-term health, productivity and retention. Specialty care is where the cost and complexity live in healthcare today.
Virtual care consumers can find that virtual specialty care offers a more effective approach to specialized care that provides faster access and answers while reducing cost and administrative burdens on payers and employers.
These benefits under virtual specialty care seem to fit the needs under consumers because respondents of the survey shared their desire for access to specialists with more experience in their medical condition (61%), suggesting the need for more personalized care.
In addition, more than half of the respondents prefer virtual care options that offer fast access (60%) and additional quality time with leading doctors in their field (57%).
Participants of the survey included 730 U.S. adults, 18 years of age and older, and who are an accurate representation of U.S. healthcare consumers. Survey data indicated that virtual care appointments are most common among younger populations (Gen Z); Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
Summus CEO and Founder, Julian Flannery, made additional comments to survey findings and said that regardless of age, gender, region, and other sociodemographic factors, the majority of consumers surveyed (66%) reported seeing a specialist more than once, and 87% noted being satisfied meeting virtually with their specialist.
"These are powerful findings that reinforce the demand for virtual specialty care given its accelerated access to the best of the best in medicine, especially in the moments that matter in healthcare," Flannery said. "Summus delivers access to high quality medical expertise, giving people confidence that they have a plan for their care."
He added Summus is transforming access to specialty care as the clinical front door to healthcare, working to provide more time and human connection to discuss health concerns and personalized care plans while driving better, more cost effective outcomes.
There is more to look forward to among virtual care, according to Flannery.
The team at Summus sees the following four trends continuing through 2023 and into 2024:
"Virtual care has evolved rapidly from primary and urgent care into the world of specialized care," Flannery said. "Solutions that will succeed will do more than just put a screen between doctors and patients. Although a myriad of solutions exist in the employer and health plan markets, virtual solutions that address the full spectrum of health conditions and concerns will support consolidation of narrowly focused point solutions."
This article originally appeared in Managed Healthcare Executive.