The news: A new report by Trilliant Health breaks down the decline in telehealth utilization. Their findings were based on over 70 billion medical claims data representing 309 million patients across all 50 states, including private insurance and Medicare claims.
Here’s a breakdown of some key stats:
The bigger picture: While we’re seeing some falloff in utilization rates as patients are no longer reliant on virtual care, adoption levels are still far higher than they ever were before the pandemic.
What’s next? In a market with dwindling consumer demand, an increasing supply of healthcare providers (including telehealth providers), and low rates of loyalty among healthcare consumers, affordable pricing will be a key driver in attracting consumers.
Healthcare consumers are not loyal to their provider networks, which means they’ll flock to the most convenient and affordable healthcare options. Loyalty rates decline with age, which is significant since older adults will make up over 20% of the US population by 2030. 64% of adults ages 21-30 are loyal to their provider network, while 59% of adults 61+ are loyal, per Trilliant Health’s analysis. Meanwhile, 71% of US adults report concerns around the costs of care, according to Public Opinion Strategies and ALG Research’s 2021 National Survey of 1,201 registered voters in the US.
Telehealth vendors can boost their appeal to consumers by making their services more affordable and user-friendly to a larger population of patients. Right now, the highest utilizers of virtual care are adults ages 35-54 (78%), high income earners (85%), and those with higher education levels (86%) according to Rock Health’s 2021 Digital Health Consumer Adoption report. By establishing more accessible design and price points, telehealth companies could lure in new consumer segments.
Telehealth companies can also optimize their provider networks by building out partnerships with health systems and hospitals. Consumers increasingly say they prefer the option of having both in-person and virtual care visits in their healthcare journey, per Trilliant Health. To add, these kinds of partnerships can merge incentives for health systems and hospitals that are trying to implement value-based care payment structures, and for telehealth vendors that are trying to hold onto consumer volume.