How to go beyond video visits and achieve whole person care
Over the last few years, we have seen a tremendous evolution in virtual care.
From Teladoc Health’s launch 20 years ago, our vision has always been to provide integrated solutions that address the needs of the whole person. Today, our unique whole person care experience model provides individuals and populations alike virtually native access to a broad set of services that can be configured to fit the specific needs of our clients to create better health outcomes while having a positive impact on the total cost of care.
When we look at important factors of whole person care, the breadth of services must span across primary care, mental health, chronic care, acute and specialty care and, simultaneously, consider socioeconomic factors. With the Teladoc Health model, whole person care is a destination, not a single, specific product.
We can truly say this hasn’t been done before successfully in-person, at scale. So, at Teladoc Health, we are putting the power of connected technology together with the full range of clinical expertise to deliver a seamless, unified consumer experience. With 1 in 4 Americans having access to Teladoc Health through their benefit plan, 80% of the population being able to benefit from one of Teladoc Health’s services and more than 4.5 million visits during the first quarter of 2022, we see the value this model brings in empowering people to live their healthiest lives and lowering overall healthcare costs.
We know consumers want to see this change, too. Between delays in care exacerbated by the pandemic and the frustration and inconvenience often associated with an inefficient and fragmented healthcare system that does not meet the expectations of today’s consumer; our research shows 75% of consumers today would prefer a single unified experience to manage their physical and mental health. The understanding of where to even start is overwhelming; often tasked with not only finding, but waiting for the right physician, and then independently weaving the web between physicians and ensuring the appropriate level of information sharing is taking place between providers. Increasingly, consumers are opting out.
Teladoc Health has become an integral access point throughout the healthcare journey for millions of people, many of whom would not otherwise receive care. For example, with Primary360 (Teladoc Health’s primary care solution) a person who wants to see a primary care provider will be choosing from a wide selection, selecting who best fits their personal needs. Then, they’ll have that appointment within a week. Following the appointment, a care team will follow up with an individualized care plan. This could include additional support services specific to them such as enrolling in a chronic disease management program, mental health appointment or referring them to a specialty provider. In fact, 25% of consumers with chronic conditions and access to Primary360 are newly diagnosed within the program.
Another important element is engaging with the patient beyond a video visit. For too long, virtual care has been narrowly defined as only telephone or video visits with providers. This is limiting. At Teladoc Health, we have expanded to innovative care models that seamlessly embed different modalities such as asynchronous virtual care, instant messaging, digital coaching and health alerts or nudges. This level of provider access and consumer directed experience deepens the relationship consumers have with their healthcare teams and delivers better health outcomes.
This evolution doesn’t mean there isn’t an important place for in-person care. We aren’t looking to disrupt but to empower people by transforming the healthcare experience. We understand face-to-face visits are necessary in some cases to provide high quality care for consumers. At Teladoc Health, we refer consumers when needed to specialty physicians within their insurance network and ensure continuity of care through data exchange. But in our vision for the future, for many consumers their first stop in accessing care and managing their health will be a virtual-first experience.
I am confident the evolution of virtual care Teladoc Health has created will become ubiquitous across healthcare. I’m encouraged by the increasing interest from healthcare providers to make this happen, as they look to innovate and expand their virtual care programs. Teladoc Health looks forward to being a partner with healthcare stakeholders across the continuum as we continue this important work.
For more information about this topic, tune into the accompanying episode on Modern Healthcare Custom Media’s Healthcare Insider podcast.