Will Telemedicine Adoption Continue after the Pandemic? | Part 2: Investors, Regulators, Medicare Beneficiaries and the Healthcare System
March 25, 2021
In Part 1, we looked at how patients, doctors, employers and behavioral health needs drove telemedicine utilization last year. Now we’ll delve into additional stakeholders that played a significant role in the adoption of telemedicine in 2020.
Notably, many regulatory changes broadened virtual care access for Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare population (including beneficiaries of privately-administered Medicare programs) represents 67.7 million individuals (roughly 20% of the U.S. population). While seniors are often stereotyped as the most hesitant age cohort to access digital health resources, in 2020, one third of Medicare recipients accessed some form of telehealth service between March and October and 43% report intentions to use it after the pandemic.
The Healthcare System
The leap forward in telemedicine follows a pre-existing trend toward digital healthcare. Even prior to the pandemic, healthcare delivery was poised for major disruptions driven by technological advances, a shift from inpatient to outpatient care, the consumerization of healthcare and the need to lower overall healthcare costs.
While the pandemic may have accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, there are several reasons it may have staying power long after America achieves herd immunity.