The latest Hurracane season has once again heightened the importance of digital communications and telehealth to help guide patients in need. We have seen many of the major telehealth providers offering their services to the victims for free, but there are still roadblocks on the road to the wider telemedicine adoption.
A recent HealthMine survey revealed that 57 percent of Medicare health plan members aged 65+ said they are unsure if their health plan offers telemedicine, with another 31 percent saying that telemedicine is not offered by their plan. The data comes from a survey of 500 Medicare health consumers.
In order for telemedicine services to be effective, Medicare plan members must be digitally connected and that could be a problem, with the HealthMine survey revealing that 79 percent of seniors do not have easy access to their electronic medical records.
The research firm has also asked participants about their communication preferences: 48 percent said they prefer to communicate with their plan via voice/phone, 31 percent prefer digital communication, and 21 percent prefer snail mail.
“These hurricanes have underscored the importance of every person being digitally connected to their health,” Bryce Williams, president and CEO of HealthMine, said in a statement. “We are working hand-in-hand with health plans to accelerate digital processes and analytics.”
Williams added that collecting and analyzing every piece of data is how plans are driving new efficiencies for their business and better care for their plan members. “Real-time data analytics drives health intelligence. Health intelligence is what enables plans to help members improve their health,” he concluded.