News: Employers agree virtual care is here to stay but needs to evolve, survey finds
In a survey conducted by the Business Group on Health, 74% of the 165 large employers surveyed said that virtual care will have a major impact on future care delivery. People working at most large employers will see access to telehealth, virtual mental health, and virtual resiliency offerings. However, 57% of surveyed employers expressed concern about the quality of care through virtual platforms, Fierce Healthcare reported.
The survey’s other findings showed that 84% of employers believe integrating virtual and in-person services is necessary to ensure success. Similarly, 69% expressed concern about a fragmented experience for patients, and 60% worried about a lack of integration between providers. The latter could lead to unnecessary care, duplicate services, and wasteful spending.
On the other hand, about 32% of those surveyed said they will be offering virtual primary care services this year, with another 69% saying they may do so in 2025. Employers should consider how patient preferences have evolved since the pandemic while building strategies around virtual care, Eddie Gammill, senior director of health and benefits at Willis Towers Watson, said to Fierce Healthcare in an interview. Virtual care is not always viable for a patient’s needs but can manage a number of conditions with more convenience for the patient and their schedule.
"There are going to be some things are just never going to be appropriate for virtual, but for a lot of things it’s here to stay," Gammill said.