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Telemedicine’s challenge: Getting patients to click the app

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Telemedicine’s challenge: Getting patients to click the app

February 7, 2019

Telemedicine’s challenge: Getting patients to click the app

Walmart workers can now see a doctor for only $4. The catch? It has to be a virtual visit.

The retail giant recently rolled back the $40 price on telemedicine, becoming the latest big company to nudge employees toward a high-tech way to get diagnosed and treated remotely.

But patients have been slow to embrace virtual care. Eighty percent of mid-size and large U.S. companies offered telemedicine services to their workers last year, up from 18 percent in 2014, according to the consultant Mercer. Only 8 percent of eligible employees used telemedicine at least once in 2017, most recent figures show.

“There’s an awful lot of effort right now focused on educating the consumer that there’s a better way,” said Jason Gorevic, CEO of telemedicine provider Teladoc Health.

Widespread smartphone use, looser regulations and employer enthusiasm are helping to expand access to telemedicine, where patients interact with doctors and nurses from afar, often through a secure video connection. Supporters say virtual visits make it easier for patients to see a therapist or quickly find help for ailments that aren’t emergencies. But many still fall back to going to the doctor’s office when they’re sick.

The full Associated Press article can be viewed at this link.  

 

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