Telehealth Survey Results, Part I

October 11, 2016 by InTouch Health

Texas has long been a bellwether state, just like California and New York. All three of those states have large cities plus sizable rural stretches. Think Houston/Amarillo, L.A./Modesto, New York City/Syracuse.

That’s why the new Texas Association of Business (TAB) report on telemedicine is so encouraging. Entitled “Telemedicine: The 21st Century Answer To The Call For Better Healthcare,” it provides ample proof that states with both megacities and wide open spaces are fertile ground for telehealth.

The report contains so much good news that we’re devoting two blogs to what it highlights: first from the patient perspective, then from the employer angle.

The report begins with a sobering overview of the current state of Texas healthcare, where physician shortages, rising healthcare costs and poor patient outcomes have become the norm. The report estimates that one-third of medical issues now resolved in doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics or EDs could be handled effectively via telehealth.

TAB surveyed 600 registered Texas voters to get their opinions on telehealth, and their answers may surprise you:

  • 70% of those surveyed favor the use of telehealth to diagnose common medical conditions.
  • 51% of those Texans feel that access to providers has grown more difficult in recent years.
  • 24% of rural Texans surveyed have to drive 30 minutes or more to visit a doctor’s office.
  • 23% of those surveyed have to wait 14 days or more to see their doctor.

The TAB survey shows that Texas patients are clamoring for fresh solutions like telehealth. To use a popular expression in the Lone Star state, they’re “chompin’ at the bit” for change.

In the next blog, we’ll discuss why Texas employers are equally excited about what telehealth can deliver.