9 Virtual Care Stats to Wrap Up 2023 (And 6 Trends to Watch)

December 5, 2023

First Stop Health

First Stop Health’s version of “Wrapped” brings you virtual care trends of 2023 and what to look forward to in 2024. 

Mental health and cost containment strategies were top-of-mind for employers and brokers alike. Growing concern for equitable access to primary care was also a common theme in 2023. Here’s what virtual care looked like this past year: 


Mental Health 

  • 95% of employers planned to offer virtual mental health services in 2023.1 
  • In a survey of HR Buyers, 84% agreed it was “important that plans support, promote and incentivize integration of behavioral health into primary care, but only 28% were satisfied”.2 
  • Research found virtual care interventions had a positive impact on treatment of depression and can improve quality of life for patients.3 

Cost Containment 

  • Employer-sponsored virtual care costs 23% less than in-person care.4 
  • Nearly 70% of employers in the U.S. are focused on managing healthcare costs – and virtual care can help.5 
  • More than 1 in 3 employers are implementing programs or using vendors that will reduce costs.5

Primary Care 

  • Primary care delivered in a virtual setting had a positive impact on efficiency and timeliness to care, as well as performed comparatively to in-person care.6  
  • Most virtual primary care appointments do not require in-person follow-up.7 
  • Virtual primary care can improve patient-doctor relationships.8

Looking Ahead to 2024 

  • 61% of employers said virtual care will be important for providing primary care services.9 
  • 71% of employers said virtual care will be important for providing mental health services.9 
  • 96% of employers say engagement in benefits programs are top priority.10 
  • 50% of employers are planning or considering implementing new programs or using vendors to help reduce costs in the next 2 years.5 
  • Employee benefits are expected to evolve with personalized medicine programs tailored to employees’ unique needs.11 
  • Virtual primary care visits are forecasted to increase as employers shift focus to virtual care.12

First Stop Health (FSH) Virtual Care Solutions     

FSH Virtual Primary Care, Virtual Urgent Care (Telemedicine) and Virtual Mental Health solutions deliver patient-first care to members where and when they need it. Virtual Primary Care consists of preventive and chronic care to help coordinate and manage the many touchpoints of members’ healthcare journeys. With Virtual Urgent Care (included with Virtual Primary Care), 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, can lead to better whole-person health.  

FSH customizes employee engagement communications for each client and uses persona-based messaging to drive industry-leading utilization. We engage employees across various modalities and communications to ensure they know about their benefit and use it -- when and where they need it. All campaigns are organized, implemented and funded by FSH.  


  1. What employers should prioritize in 2023: Mental health and cost-containment | BenefitsPRO 
  2. Voice of the Purchaser Survey on  Behavioral Health Support 
  3. The effects of treatment via telemedicine interventions for patients with depression on depressive symptoms and quality of life: a systematic review and meta-analysis - PMC (nih.gov) 
  4. Employer-Sponsored Telehealth Cost 23% Less Than In-Person Care (mhealthintelligence.com) 
  5. US employers target healthcare costs mental healthcare 2024 - WTW (wtwco.com) 
  6. The Impact of Virtual Consultations on the Quality of Primary Care: Systematic Review - PMC (nih.gov) 
  7. Most Primary Care Telehealth Visits Unlikely to Need In-Person Follow-Up (epicresearch.org) 
  8. Virtual primary care can result in better doctor-patient relationships (dallasnews.com) 
  9. Employer Health Benefits 2022 Annual Survey (kff.org) 
  10. MBGH_Annual_Survey_Infographic-Final.pdf (higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com) 
  11. Where Employee Benefits Are Headed in 2024 | HRExecutive 
  12. Medical cost trend: Behind the numbers 2024 | PwC 

Originally published Dec 5, 2023 6:47:32 PM.