Virtual Primary Care for High Blood Pressure Treatment
January 31, 2023
First Stop Health
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a serious long-term health concern. High blood pressure — also called hypertension — increases the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.1 According to the CDC, nearly half of American adults (47%) have high blood pressure and just 24% have it under control.1 Blood pressure affects Americans of all ages with 1 in 4 younger adults aged 20-44 having been diagnosed.2
How can virtual primary care help treat high blood pressure?
The CDC revealed that 1 in 3 people with high blood pressure don’t know they have it and as it usually does not present symptoms, it has been coined as “the silent killer”.2 These stats emphasize the importance of regular wellness exams and more frequent visits with a primary care physician (PCP) — which is where virtual primary care comes in.
Virtual primary care is an easy means to diagnose and treat high blood pressure in a way that is convenient for patients.
Patients can use a home blood pressure monitor during their visit with a virtual primary care physician. Doctors are easy to access via app, website or phone. Many labs offer on-site blood pressure testing in addition to their blood draw services if the patient does not have a home blood pressure monitor.
Easy-to-access virtual primary care gives doctors and patients the opportunity to monitor blood pressure medications, adjust treatment plans and improve management of hypertension.
Virtual primary care gives doctors and patients the opportunity to discuss behavior changes that can reduce blood pressure — like losing weight, exercising, changing diet, smoking cessation and more.
More frequent, longer visits keep patients engaged in their healthcare journeys. Patients have more time with virtual primary care doctors to get the support they need for their high blood pressure.
How does virtual primary care differ from in-person doctor visits?
The traditional in-person office visit has been an ineffective means of managing high blood pressure. Patients must wait an average of 26 days to see their PCP.3 In-person care also requires a dedication of 2 hours, which includes travel, lengthy wait times in offices, and paperwork – all to spend less than 20 minutes with a doctor.4 More frequent PCP visits are crucial to improve and treat high blood pressure, however, frequent in-person visits are inconvenient and unaffordable for many patients.
With virtual primary care, the healthcare experience is patient-centered and designed to support individuals throughout their unique healthcare journeys. Plus, it is more cost effective compared to in-person visits as virtual visits do not incur claims and is $0 for patients and their dependents to use. As patients connect to doctors in less than 4 days (on average), avoid lengthy wait times, do not need to take off work, or worry about travel or childcare, they are more inclined to visit with a virtual primary care doctor. It is an effective way to deliver patient-centered care to better diagnose, treat and manage high blood pressure.