7 Ways Virtual Primary Care Differs from Traditional Primary Care

May 16, 2023

First Stop Health

  1. Better Mental Health Support: According to a recent study, patients who used virtual primary care were more likely to receive a depression screening.1 Another study found that a majority of patients prefer virtual care for primary care and mental health care with 90% revealing their virtual visits were either “good” or “excellent”.2
  2. Convenience: As visits occur via video or phone, patients can easily connect with a doctor wherever and whenever is most convenient for them. Virtual primary care offers off-hours and weekend appointments, does not require travel or taking time off work, and is overall more accessible than in-person care.  
  3. Longer Visits, More Trust: In a virtual setting that does not use the fee-for-service physician model, patients are able to spend more time with doctors to customize treatment plans unique to their health needs. On average, patients spend about 30 minutes with their virtual primary care doctors, a significant improvement from the in-person time of 7 minutes.3 
  4. Improved Care Coordination: When it comes to chronic disease management and preventive care, virtual care provides a “more convenient, more accessible, and equally effective means of primary care.”1 Hands-on, value-based care in the virtual primary care setting allows doctors and care teams to provide thoughtful referrals and better care navigation. 
  5. Better Access: Nearly 1 in 3 Americans live in Primary Health Provider Shortages Areas.4 Virtual primary care expands access to doctors and removes any geographic limitations to getting care.  
  6. Proactive vs. Reactive: Virtual primary care doctors who work outside of large medical systems have more freedom and time to support patients’ best interests without constraints of reimbursement or large hospital management.5 This involves proactive outreach pre- and post-visit to ensure patients are completing visits and adhering to care recommendations.  
  7. No Cost and No Claims: A standalone virtual primary care solution does not require copays or incur medical claims for visits, which decreases patient and employer healthcare spending.  

First Stop Health (FSH) Virtual Care  

FSH virtual care solutions are comprised of Primary Care, Urgent Care and Mental Health, and deliver patient-first care to members where and when they need it. Virtual Primary Care connects members to doctors in less than 5 days on average. It consists of urgent, preventive and chronic care to help coordinate and manage the many touchpoints of members’ healthcare journeys. With Virtual Urgent Care (Telemedicine), members have access to 24/7 urgent care for episodic health concerns. Virtual Mental Health provides counseling to members, and in conjunction with Virtual Primary Care guidance and medication management, leads to better whole-person health. Our digital-first approach expands access to healthcare for our members and provides care that people love.®    

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2796668 
  2. https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/patients-prefer-telehealth-for-primary-care-mental-health-needs 
  3. https://biodesignwellness.com/blog/the-problem-with-the-7-minute-doctor-visit/ 
  4. https://data.hrsa.gov/topics/health-workforce/shortage-areas 
  5. https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/reasons-be-independent-doctor 

Originally published May 16, 2023 5:19:51 PM.