As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly expands in the US, we’re seeing changes in how medical system capacity is being managed to prepare for the influx of critical care cases. Doctors are delaying elective procedures and postponing appointments for routine care in hopes of preventing the spread of the illness in health care facilities, and shifting patients to virtual care when possible. While we don’t know how long these changes to physician service models will last, it’s possible that they will fundamentally change how we access medical care in the future.
With more hospital and physician practices encouraging virtual care, people will start to access their primary care physicians through these new models. In some areas, for some period of time, there may be no other viable care pathway, essentially guaranteeing behavior change. In the long run, more people using virtual care or telemedicine for low acuity needs and even preventive care could be good for employers and providers – it drives down costs to employer plans, and keeps capacity in the system for higher acuity needs that must be addressed in person.
This challenging and difficult situation has created an opportunity for employers to promote existing (or new) digital health offerings. Here are three reasons to act now:
In short, if you’re looking for ways to make a positive impact during this uncertain time, it’s worth considering how digital health offerings could provide real support to your employees and their families. Whether by promoting existing services or taking advantage of new free resources now available, you have options and can take meaningful action.