Assessment of Patient Preferences for Telehealth in Post–COVID-19 Pandemic Health Care | Health Care Delivery Models | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 35.153.100.128. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
1.
Koonin  LM, Hoots  B, Tsang  CA,  et al.  Trends in the use of telehealth during the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic—United States, January–March 2020.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(43):1595-1599. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6943a3 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Demeke  HB, Merali  S, Marks  S,  et al.  Trends in use of telehealth among health centers during the COVID-19 pandemic—United States, June 26-November 6, 2020.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(7):240-244. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7007a3PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Cantor  JH, McBain  RK, Pera  MF, Bravata  DM, Whaley  CM.  Who is (and is not) receiving telemedicine care during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Am J Prev Med. 2021;61(3):434-438. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2021.01.030 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Telehealth Impact Study Work Group. Telehealth impact: physician survey analysis. November 16, 2020. Accessed June 1, 2021. https://telehealth-c19hcc-org-bzh6faksvq-uk.a.run.app/telehealth/physician-survey-analysis/
5.
Gomez  T, Anaya  YB, Shih  KJ, Tarn  DM.  A qualitative study of primary care physicians’ experiences with telemedicine during COVID-19.   J Am Board Fam Med. 2021;34(suppl):S61-S70. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2021.S1.200517 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Fischer  SH, Uscher-Pines  L, Roth  E, Breslau  J.  The transition to telehealth during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from a national sample of patients.   J Gen Intern Med. 2021;36(3):849-851. doi:10.1007/s11606-020-06358-0 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
7.
Fischer  SH, Ray  KN, Mehrotra  A, Bloom  EL, Uscher-Pines  L.  Prevalence and characteristics of telehealth utilization in the United States.   JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(10):e2022302. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.22302 PubMedGoogle Scholar
8.
Welch  BM, Harvey  J, O’Connell  NS, McElligott  JT.  Patient preferences for direct-to-consumer telemedicine services: a nationwide survey.   BMC Health Serv Res. 2017;17(1):784. doi:10.1186/s12913-017-2744-8 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
9.
Park  J, Erikson  C, Han  X, Iyer  P.  Are state telehealth policies associated with the use of telehealth services among underserved populations?   Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37(12):2060-2068. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05101 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
10.
American Well. Telehealth Index: 2019 Consumer Survey. American Well; 2019. Accessed June 1, 2021. https://business.amwell.com/resources/telehealth-index-2019-consumer-survey/
11.
Kruse  CS, Krowski  N, Rodriguez  B, Tran  L, Vela  J, Brooks  M.  Telehealth and patient satisfaction: a systematic review and narrative analysis.   BMJ Open. 2017;7(8):e016242. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016242 PubMedGoogle Scholar
12.
Drerup  B, Espenschied  J, Wiedemer  J, Hamilton  L.  Reduced no-show rates and sustained patient satisfaction of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Telemed J E Health. 2021. doi:10.1089/tmj.2021.0002 PubMedGoogle Scholar
13.
Doraiswamy  S, Abraham  A, Mamtani  R, Cheema  S.  Use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic: scoping review.   J Med internet Res. 2020;22(12):e24087. doi:10.2196/24087 PubMedGoogle Scholar
14.
RAND Corporation. RAND American Life Panel. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.rand.org/research/data/alp.html
15.
Pollard  MS, Baird  MD. The RAND American Life Panel: technical description. Accessed September 22, 2021. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1651.html
16.
Crimmel  BL.  Co-pays and coinsurance percentages for an office visit to a physician for employer-sponsored health insurance in the private sector, by firm size classification, 2002–2005. Statistical Brief #189. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Accessed September 27, 2021. http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st189/stat189.shtml
17.
RAND Corporation. RAND American Life Panel: weighting. Accessed June 1, 2021. https://www.rand.org/research/data/alp/panel/weighting.html
18.
Nouri  S, Khoong  EC, Lyles  CR, Karliner  L.  Addressing equity in telemedicine for chronic disease management during the Covid-19 pandemic.   NEJM Catal Innov Care Delivy. 2020;1:1-13.Google Scholar
19.
Gray  DM, Joseph  JJ, Olayiwola  JN.  Strategies for digital care of vulnerable patients in a COVID-19 world—keeping in touch.   JAMA Health Forum. 2020;1(6):e200734. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.0734Google Scholar
20.
Powell  RE, Henstenburg  JM, Cooper  G, Hollander  JE, Rising  KL.  Patient perceptions of telehealth primary care video visits.   Ann Fam Med. 2017;15(3):225-229. doi:10.1370/afm.2095 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
21.
Gordon  HS, Solanki  P, Bokhour  BG, Gopal  RK.  “I’m not feeling like I’m part of the conversation” patients’ perspectives on communicating in clinical video telehealth visits.   J Gen Intern Med. 2020;35(6):1751-1758. doi:10.1007/s11606-020-05673-w PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    Views 12,365
    Citations 0
    Original Investigation
    Health Policy
    December 1, 2021

    Assessment of Patient Preferences for Telehealth in Post–COVID-19 Pandemic Health Care

    Author Affiliations
    • 1RAND Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts
    • 2RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California
    • 3RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • 4RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia
    JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(12):e2136405. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.36405
    Key Points

    Question  What role do US adults envision for telehealth in their future medical care?

    Findings  In this survey study of 2080 adults, most respondents were willing to use video visits in the future but, when presented with the choice between an in-person or a video visit for nonemergency care, most preferred in-person care. Willingness to pay for preferred visit modality was higher for those who preferred in-person care, and those who preferred video visits were more sensitive to out-of-pocket cost.

    Meaning  The findings of this study suggest that awareness of patient preferences will help define telehealth’s role in US health care after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Abstract

    Importance  Telehealth use greatly increased in 2020 during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient preferences for telehealth or in-person care are an important factor in defining the role of telehealth in the postpandemic world.

    Objective  To ascertain patient preferences for video visits after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency and to identify patient perceptions of the value of video visits and the role of out-of-pocket cost in changing patient preference for each visit modality.

    Design, Setting, and Participants  This survey study was conducted using a nationally representative sample of adult members of the RAND American Life Panel. The data were obtained from the American Life Panel Omnibus Survey, which was fielded between March 8 and 19, 2021.

    Main Outcomes and Measures  Preferences for video visits vs in-person care were analyzed in the survey. The first question was about participants’ baseline preference for an in-person or a video visit for a nonemergency health issue. The second question entailed choosing between the preferred visit modality with a cost of $30 and another modality with a cost of $10. Questions also involved demographic characteristics, experience with video visits, willingness to use video visits, and preferences for the amount of telehealth use after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Results  A total of 2080 of 3391 sampled panel members completed the survey (participation rate, 61.3%). Participants in the weighted sample had a mean (SE) age of 51.1 (0.67) years and were primarily women (1079 [51.9%]). Most participants (66.5%) preferred at least some video visits in the future, but when faced with a choice between an in-person or a video visit for a health care encounter that could be conducted either way, more than half of respondents (53.0%) preferred an in-person visit. Among those who initially preferred an in-person visit when out-of-pocket costs were not a factor, 49.8% still preferred in-person care and 23.5% switched to a video visit when confronted with higher relative costs for in-person care. In contrast, among those who initially preferred a video visit, only 18.9% still preferred a video visit and 61.7% switched to in-person visit when confronted with higher relative costs for video visits.

    Conclusions and Relevance  This survey study found that participants were generally willing to use video visits but preferred in-person care, and those who preferred video visits were more sensitive to paying out-of-pocket cost. These results suggest that understanding patient preferences will help identify telehealth’s role in future health care delivery.

    ×