Survey Finds Physicians in Support of Patient Telehealth Consults

More than half of physicians in a nationwide survey are willing to see their patients over video, claiming the work-life balance to be the most common reason for the potential change in health system referrals.

More than half of physicians in a nationwide survey are willing to see their patients over video, claiming the work-life balance to be the most common reason for the potential change in health system referrals. Additional physicians supported the notion of seeing patients over video for reasons that included increased earning opportunity and improved patient outcomes.

The Telehealth Index: 2015 Physician Survey, conducted by American Well in collaboration with QuantiaMD, found that 69% of physicians preferred video visits to phone or email communication when making accurate diagnosis for new patient consults. Additionally, physician responses indicated that video visits can be useful in more than an urgent care setting—a majority of physicians supported video visits for medication management and prescription renewals, chronic disease management, and behavioral health.

“There’s a sea change going on within the physician community,” Roy Schoenberg, MD, CEO of American Well, said in a statement. “Doctors see value in virtual visits for their patients and also in managing their own work-life balance. We’ve seen weekly physician inquiries about practicing online triple in less than six months.”

Researchers also predict that video visits could have an impact on hospital referring patterns and can increase referral revenue by adding peer video consults to specialty care programs.