December 6, 2021

Patient preferences for telehealth in post-COVID-19 healthcare

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This survey study by the RAND Corporation finds that participants were willing to use telehealth for visits but preferred in-person care, and those who preferred telehealth were more sensitive to out-of-pocket costs.

Of 2,080 survey participants, 66.5% preferred at least some telehealth visits in the future, but 53% preferred in-person visits.


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Among those who initially preferred in-person care when out-of-pocket costs were not a factor, nearly half (49.8%) still preferred in-person care, and 23.5% switched to telehealth when confronted with higher costs for in-person care.

In contrast, of those who initially preferred telehealth when out-of-pocket costs were not a factor, 18.9% still preferred telehealth, and 61.7% switched to in-person visits when confronted with higher costs for telehealth visits.

The results suggest that patient preferences will help identify the role of telehealth in future healthcare delivery, the authors say.

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