10 tips for combining the ‘human’ and ‘technology’ elements of your quality monitoring process
Read on for our list of tips to automate your quality monitoring process.
The Team at CallMiner
August 11, 2022
Healthcare continues to evolve and advance technologically, playing a crucial role in quality of life, longevity and patient outcomes. Recently, there’s been an increased focus on delivering quality patient care and improving patient experience throughout the patient journey, from the outpatient clinic to the healthcare call center, digital patient interactions, patient billing, prescription refills, follow-up care, and everything in between. A growing recognition of the role the patient experience plays in positive health outcomes will continue to drive this trend in the coming years.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on every industry, but arguably none as significant as the impact it had on the healthcare industry. Healthcare systems were strained to the max, economic turmoil left many patients with financial insecurity, and government shutdowns and the need for social distancing made it difficult, if not impossible, for many patients to receive care in traditional healthcare settings.
While the world progresses slowly in its recovery from the pandemic, the healthcare industry continues to grapple with far-reaching effects. For example, telemedicine utilization has declined from its peak but remains higher than pre-pandemic levels. Elective procedures were canceled, and many patients delayed seeking care for what seemed like a minor health concern at the time. While providers attempt to catch up, they’re also coping with a surge of patients who delayed treatment and are now facing significant health challenges as a result.
All of this results in an industry that’s still in recovery. We rounded up 101 patient care statistics to gain deeper insight into the lasting impacts of COVID-19 and the quality of patient care today across a range of categories.
Keep reading to learn more about the state of the healthcare industry today and the quality of patient care delivery.
1. About two-thirds of healthcare consumers have had a negative experience with a provider. A survey conducted by Accenture found that just one out of three healthcare consumers have never had a negative experience with a healthcare provider, pharmacy, or hospital. 44% of respondents who reported having negative experiences said they were stressed or upset about the experience. “To prevent the side effects of low satisfaction, these patients said that providers need to focus on empathy during their experience. Beyond the office visit alone, patient engagement and revenue cycle management (RCM) teams must laser-focus on understanding patients’ needs, or risk losing them permanently,” CallMiner explains.
2. Ease of access and privacy are top concerns for healthcare consumers. CVS Health’s Health Care Insights Study 2021 found that 89% of U.S. adults surveyed consider the privacy of their personal health information (89%) and ease of access to care (89%) the most important factors when finding and engaging with healthcare.
3. More than six out of 10 patients still prefer phone conversations with providers. According to Avtex, 64% of patients say they still prefer human-to-human phone interactions when communicating with their healthcare providers.
4. More consumers view wellness as a priority. According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, wellness prioritization increased for 48.2% of consumers surveyed in 2021 compared to 2-3 years prior.
5. A positive digital patient experience is crucial. A survey conducted by Accenture found that 50% of healthcare consumers say a single bad digital experience can ruin their complete experience with a healthcare provider. Additionally, 39% of healthcare consumers surveyed said that positive digital interactions have a big impact on the overall patient experience.
6. Nearly one-third of consumers canceled upcoming appointments as a result of COVID-19. In October 2020, McKinsey & Company reported that 40% of consumers surveyed reported that they had canceled an upcoming appointment, such as a routine checkup or treatment for a chronic condition, since the pandemic began on March 1, 2020. For 31%, the appointment was scheduled before the start of the pandemic, and for 9%, the canceled appointment was scheduled after March 1, 2020. Another 12% reported that they needed care since the start of the pandemic but had not yet scheduled or received that care.
7. More than half of patients expect providers to send automated reminders. PatientPop reports that 57% of patients expect automated notifications via text, voice, or email to remind them to schedule appointments or take medications. 70% of patients say they’d choose providers based on whether they send email or text message reminders for preventative or follow-up care.
8. Healthcare access has improved for some since the start of COVID-19. In Accenture’s 2021 Health and Life Sciences Experience Survey, 26% of survey respondents say their access to healthcare has actually improved since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
9. More than four out of 10 patients face communication barriers. Avtex reports that 42% of patients say the effort it takes to connect with their healthcare provider is the biggest obstacle they face in communicating with their providers.
10. More than seven out of 10 consumers are satisfied with their providers and insurers. In a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 77% of consumers surveyed reported that they’re satisfied with their primary care provider (PCP), while 72% reported that they’re satisfied with their insurer.
11. Today’s healthcare consumers are more likely to tell their providers when they disagree with them. According to Deloitte Insights, “In early 2020, 51% of consumers said they were very or extremely likely to tell their doctors when they disagree with them. More than half of seniors and boomers are likely to be vocal about their disagreement vs half/less than half of younger generations—63% of seniors and 57% of boomers vs 50% of Gen X and 46% of millennials and Gen Z).”
12. Wait times have a big impact on the patient experience. 84% of healthcare consumers say wait time at the doctor’s office is either “somewhat important” or “very important” as part of the overall patient experience. What’s more, 43% of patients say long wait times are the most frustrating aspect of attending healthcare appointments, and 30% have walked out of an appointment and 20% have switched providers due to long wait times, PatientPop found.
13. More than two-thirds of patients say their providers need to improve their patient communication. Avtex reports that “68% of patients said their healthcare providers need to improve how they interact with patients.”
14. Health care organization managers recognize the importance of digital patient engagement. According to a report commissioned by Kameleoon, “76% of respondents in a survey of HCO managers said digital customer engagement was ‘important or critical for [their] business.’” 72% of HCO managers say digital patient engagement will become increasingly important to their organizations.
15. Growing numbers of healthcare consumers are choosing providers based on their digital capabilities. Data from Accenture indicates that 77% of consumers said they want to be able to request prescription refills electronically in 2019, up from 67% in 2016. 70% want to receive reminders by text or email when it’s time for preventative or follow-up care (up from 57% in 2016). The percent of consumers who want to communicate with providers via secure email, book, change or cancel appointments online, use remote monitoring devices to monitor and record their personal health indicators, and communicate with their providers via secure videoconferencing all increased from 2016 to 2019 as well.
16. Patients want hassle-free scheduling. Younger millennials (between the ages of 18 and 24) are more likely than other age demographics to become frustrated with appointment scheduling, the Binary Fountain reports.
17. More than four out of 10 patients doubt the accuracy of billing statements they receive. According to HealthPay24, 41% of patients believe there may be errors on their bills. They explain, “If a patient believes their bill is in error, they may opt not to pay it if they don’t fully understand how to appeal and rectify the error. Digitizing the billing system helps eliminate inaccurate billing, giving patients more confidence, and increasing timely payments.”
18. Cost transparency has a significant impact on the patient experience. Accenture found that 64% of patients surveyed in 2019 said that cost transparency increases their satisfaction with providers significantly.
19. In fact, cost and transparency trump relationships for many patients. Nearly four out of 10 patients view price transparency and cost as more important than their relationship with a provider, according to HealthPay24.
20. More patients are asking for cost information upfront. According to a press release from PNC Healthcare, “One out of five people surveyed by PNC listed unexpected/surprise bills as the No. 1 billing-related issue. With out-of-pocket costs on the rise, millennials are more inclined (41 percent) to request and receive estimates before undergoing treatment. Only 18 percent of seniors and 21 percent of boomers reported asking for or receiving information on costs upfront. Unfortunately, 34 percent noted the final bill was higher than the estimate; only eight percent reported a bill lower than estimate.”
21. Providers can improve the patient experience by discussing patient financial responsibility. Ensemble Health Partners explains, “In fact, a West Insights and Impact study on patient experience found that 80% of patients want their doctors to help them manage financial responsibilities by clearly communicating what insurance covers versus what they owe.”
22. Financial assistance options can boost patient satisfaction. HealthPay24 explains, “92% of patients surveyed say they’d be more likely to return to a healthcare facility that offered a loan program. Using a patient financial engagement platform that offers financial assistance options within it encourages patients to pay their bills more efficiently and satisfies the patient demand for payment alternatives.”
23. Nearly two-thirds of healthcare organizations are prioritizing improving the patient experience. Data collected by The Beryl Institute indicates that 63.8% of healthcare organizations say that improving the patient experience by addressing quality, safety, and service is a top priority.
24. When calling a healthcare provider, more than half of patients are not willing to wait on hold for longer than one minute. According to SolutionReach, 60% of patients aren’t willing to hold for more than a minute, and just 32% will call back.
25. Many patients fail to disclose important information. More than eight out of 10 patients (82%) have avoided disclosing at least one type of information during a healthcare visit, according to Reuters. In most of these cases, survey respondents said that they didn’t disclose that they disagreed with the doctor’s recommendations or that they didn’t understand the provider’s instructions. “The most common reasons for nondisclosure included not wanting to be judged or lectured, not wanting to hear how harmful a particular behavior is, and being embarrassed. In both groups, women, younger participants and those who rated their own health as poor were more likely to say they withheld information.”
26. More than half of patients leave a provider’s office with a lack of understanding. According to an article published in Medscape General Medicine (MedGenMed), “At least 50% of patients leave their doctors' offices not knowing what they have been told. Studies have shown that (1) 50% of psychosocial and psychiatric problems are missed by physicians due to lack of proper communication; (2) physicians interrupt patients on an average of 18 seconds into the patients' descriptions of the presenting problems; (3) 54% of patients' problems and 45% of patient concerns are neither elicited by the physician nor disclosed by the patient; and (4) 71% of patients stated poor relationships as a reason for their malpractice claims.”
27. There are nearly 1 million staffed hospital beds in the U.S. According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), there are 920,531 staffed beds in all types of hospitals in the United States.
28. There are less than 6,500 registered hospitals in the United States. Zippia reports that there are 6,210 registered hospitals in the U.S. That’s an average of 124 registered hospitals per state. The average length of stay for patients admitted for acute care is 5.5 days.
29. Hospital care accounts for the largest portion of healthcare expenses. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), hospital care accounted for 31% of the $4.1 trillion in total healthcare expenses in 2020, or about $1.3 trillion.
30. Nearly one-third of hospital readmissions are avoidable. According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, up to 30% of hospital readmissions are avoidable. One potential solution, McKinsey notes, is improving follow-up care through better patient engagement.
31. Many alarms in inpatient settings are false, leading to alarm fatigue among providers.Nurse.org reports that 72% to 99% of alarms (from medication pumps, ventilators, monitors, beds, and feeding pumps) are false, meaning they don’t actually indicate an urgent need. As a result, providers become desensitized to the constant beeping (alarm fatigue), which may result in them assuming alarms are false and ignoring them. When one of those alarms does require immediate attention and is ignored, it can put patients at risk.
32. In 2018, there were 130 million emergency room visits. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 35 million of those visits were injury-related, and 16.2 million of those visits resulted in an admission. 2.3 million emergency room visits resulted in admission to a critical care unit.
33. Less than 10% of people in the U.S. had an overnight hospital stay in 2018. Overall, 7.9% of people had an overnight hospital stay in 2018, the CDC reports.
34. It takes an average of two hours to see a doctor for 20 minutes. Kaiser Permanente reports that for the typical healthcare appointment, patients have 37 minutes of travel, 64 minutes at the clinic, and 20 minutes with the provider, for a total of two hours for just 20 minutes of time with a physician or other healthcare practitioner.
35. Demand for hospital care remains elevated, and a corresponding price growth acceleration is expected. According to CMS, “Demand for care is expected to remain elevated in 2022, along with a projected acceleration in price growth; as a result, hospital spending growth is likewise expected to accelerate to 6.9% in 2022. Over 2023 and 2024, growth is expected to normalize (5.6% per year) and transition away from pandemic-related impacts on utilization, federal program funding, and changes in insurance enrollment, and remain similar on average through 2030 (5.5% per year).”
36. Most non-federal general acute care hospitals use EHRs. According to HealthIT.gov, “In data from 2019 and 2021, 86% of non-Federal general acute care hospitals had adopted a 2015 Edition certified electronic health record (EHR). In contrast, only 40% of rehabilitation hospitals and 23% of specialty hospitals had adopted a 2015 Edition certified EHR.”
37. Two-thirds of hospitals in the U.S. are located in urban areas. According to the American Hospital Association, 65% of community hospitals in the U.S. are urban, while 35% are rural.
38. The patient experience among adults in hospital settings worsened across most domains by mid-pandemic compared to pre-pandemic satisfaction. The Leapfrog Group explains, “The largest difference comparing adult patient experience in hospitals pre-pandemic and midpandemic is in Responsiveness of Hospital Staff with a 3.7-point decrease. Patients were less likely to receive help when needed, which can lead to potentially serious safety lapses.”
39. Non-adherence poses significant risks to patients with chronic disease. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that non-adherence causes 30 to 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year in this country. Twenty five to 50 percent of patients being treated with statins (cholesterol lowering medications) who stop their therapy within one year have up to a 25 percent increased risk for dying.”
40. Medication non-adherence comes at a high cost. Pillsy reports that medication non-adherence causes an estimated $300 billion in avoidable healthcare costs annually.
41. Two to three out of 10 prescriptions are never filled at the pharmacy. The FDA reports that 20 to 30% of new prescriptions are never filled at the pharmacy. What’s more, medications are not taken as prescribed 50% of the time.
42. Forgetfulness is a common reason for missing medication doses among older adults. According toe-pill Medication Reminders, “In a recent poll of U.S. individuals 65 years old and older who use medications, researchers found that 51% take at least five different prescription drugs regularly, and one in four take between 10 and 19 pills each day. 57% of those polled admit that they forget to take their medications. Among those using five or more medications, 63% say they forget doses, compared to 51% among those who take fewer medicines.”
43. Many chronic disease patients don’t take their medications as prescribed or stop taking them altogether. According to the FDA, “For patients prescribed medications for chronic diseases, after six months, the majority take less medication than prescribed or stop the medication altogether.” For instance, just 51% of patients who are prescribed high blood pressure medication continue taking the medication throughout their long-term treatment.
44. Non-adherence is more likely when medications must be taken multiple times per day. “When frequency of medication intake is one time per day, 81% of patients complied. When this increased however to 4 times per day, only 39% of patients complied. Furthermore, with a longer duration of therapy, the frequency of compliance reduced to 50%,” according to MagMutual.
45. Three-fourths of adults don’t adhere to prescription instructions. “The average adherence rate (the degree to which patients correctly follow prescription instructions) for medicines taken only once daily is nearly 80 percent, compared to about 50 percent for treatments that must be taken 4 times a day. As many as 75 percent of patients (and 50 percent of chronically ill patients) fail to adhere to, or comply with physician prescribed treatment regimens,” e-pill Medication Reminders explains.
46. Non-adherence may lead to up to half of all treatment failures. According to U.S. Pharmacist, “Nonadherence can account for up to 50% of treatment failures, around 125,000 deaths, and up to 25% of hospitalizations each year in the United States. Typically, adherence rates of 80% or more are needed for optimal therapeutic efficacy. However, it is estimated that adherence to chronic medications is around 50%. Adherence rates can go down as time passes after the initial prescription is written, or as barriers emerge or multiply.”
47. Patients may be more likely to take medications for a cure rather than prevention. MagMutual explains, “In one study, when treatment was prescribed with an intent to cure a medical condition, 77% of patients demonstrated compliance. When the intent was a future prevention of a medical condition, 63% of patients were compliant. Asymptomatic patients demonstrate a clear reduction in compliance.”
48. Many patients fail to comply with doctors’ recommendations on lifestyle changes. According to Dignity Health, between 25 and 50% of patients don’t follow their doctor’s orders regarding lifestyle changes that could improve chronic health conditions or prevent future health concerns.
49. Patients are more likely to comply when the doctor communicates effectively. Medical Xpress reports that “patients of physicians who communicate well have a 19 percent higher rate of adherence, and that training physicians in communication skills improves patient adherence by 12 percent. …Using the percentage difference in adherence for patients whose physician communicated well versus patients whose physician did not (19 percent), more than 183 million visits that resulted in patient nonadherence would have resulted in better patient adherence if the physician had strong interpersonal communication.”
50. Confusing prescription labels can make administration errors more likely. Basicmedical Key explains, “To improve patient recall and reduce administration errors, patients require explicit directions. A high percentage of reported administrative errors result from the direct failure of patients to comprehend the directions on the prescription label (Cohen, 2007). In one study, when given a prescription for tetracycline 250 mg with the directions ‘Take 1 capsule every 6 hours,’ only 36% of 67 participants interpreted the directions to mean around the clock, for a total of 4 doses in 24 hours. Approximately 25% would have been noncompliant by omitting the late-night dose because they would have divided the day into three 6-hour periods while they were awake.”
51. Patients often see their primary care physicians for chronic disease management. “For example, 61 million Americans with high blood pressure sought care in 2017 and 81% of them visited a primary care physician,” according to a report from the Robert Graham Center. “More people with hypertension, diabetes, and asthma visit a primary care physician each year than visit a specialist for treatment of these conditions. Even people with less common, severe chronic diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, generally see a primary care physician each year, in addition to seeing a specialist, such as a neurologist.”
52. More than eight out of 10 adults in the U.S. visited a physician in 2020. Data from the CDC indicates that 83.4% of adults aged 18 and over in the U.S. visited a physician for any reason in 2020, slightly lower than the 84.9% who visited a doctor for any reason in 2019. 77.6% had a wellness visit in 2020, down from 78.9% in 2019.
53. About one-third of physicians in the U.S. are primary care physicians. “There are 223.1 physicians per 100,000 persons in the United States. Of those, nearly one-third (70/223.1) are primary care physicians. There are 111.7 primary care providers overall per 100,000 population, including physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. This translates to one primary care physician for about every 1,429 people in the United States, and one primary care professional for every 895 people,” according to the Robert Graham Center.
54. More than seven out of 10 people in the U.S. have a primary care physician. Health.org’s most recent data (from 2017) indicates that 76% of people had a usual primary care provider in 2017, short of the goal of 84%.
55. Nearly half of all office-based healthcare visits are to primary care physicians. The Robert Graham Center reports that in 2016, there were nearly 900 million visits to physicians in office-based settings. Nearly half (46.4%) were to general and family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, and pediatricians.
56. More than nine out of 10 children in the U.S. visited a physician in 2020. According to the CDC, 94% of children under age 18 visited a doctor for any reason in 2020, a decrease from 95.6% in 2019. 91.7% of children under age 18 had a well child check-up in 2020, compared to 93.8% in 2019.
57. The number of urgent care clinics in the U.S. is growing. Fierce Healthcare reports, “The Urgent Care Association released its 2019 benchmarking report that showed the total number of centers had reached 9,616 as of November 2019, a 9.6% jump from the previous year. The number of centers has increased steadily each year from 2013, when the total number of urgent care centers was 6,100. Both urgent care centers and retail clinics have continued to grow across the U.S. as patients look for convenience and affordability, creating competition with traditional hospital and physician practice services.”
58. Urgent care visits are quick. According to the Urgent Care Association, nearly 97% of patient encounters in urgent care clinics lasted one hour or less. Additionally, in 92% of urgent care visits, patients report seeing a doctor within 30 minutes.
59. Urgent care visits are significantly more affordable for patients. “A 2016 study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that ER treatment costs were about 10 times more (an average of about $2,200) than in an urgent care center (about $168) — even for patients with the same diagnosis,” Insider Intelligence reports.
60. Urgent care is a $38.5 billion industry. “In 2021, the urgent care segment has grown to be a $38.5 billion industry — more than doubling since the last time we reported on this in 2017 when the industry was at $15 billion. The segment already was experiencing rapid growth, which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to an expected 3.4% increase in market size this year,” explains d2i.
61. Urgent care clinics handle nearly 30% of primary care visits in the U.S. According to Insider Intelligence, “Laurel Stoimenoff, PT, CHC, CEO of UCA [Urgent Care Association], says that urgent care clinics handle about 89 million patient visits each year, which includes more than 29% of all primary care visits in the US, and nearly 15% of all outpatient physician visits.”
62. More than one-fourth of children in the U.S. visited a retail health clinic or urgent care clinic in the past year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In 2019, approximately one in four children had one or more urgent care or retail health clinic visits in the past 12 months (26.4%). Nearly 14% of children had one urgent care or retail health clinic visit (13.7%), while 8.2% had two visits and 4.5% had three or more visits.”
63. Most urgent care clinics utilize telemedicine. d2i reports that 85% of urgent care clinics in the U.S. were using telemedicine by mid-2020, an increase from 29% in 2019.
64. The retail health clinic market is growing rapidly. According to a press release from Fortune Business Insights, the retail health clinic market size was $1.78 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow from $3.49 billion in 2021 to $4.4 billion by 2028.
65. Utilization of retail health clinics is increasing. “In a report issued in December by digital signage platform UPshow, retail health clinics emerged as a trusted form of care among city residents (61%), rural residents (52%) and suburban residents (48%), and nearly half of all consumers said they’d prefer to use retail clinics for non-urgent health needs after the pandemic subsides,” Benefits Pro reports. In fact, 32% of consumers said that their use of retail health clinics increased due to COVID-19.
66. Up to two out of 10 emergency room visits could be handled in urgent care or retail health clinics. According to RAND Corporation, “Retail clinics have been proposed as an alternative to costly emergency department care for nonemergency conditions. It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of emergency department visits for a nonemergency condition could take place at a retail clinic or urgent care center, potentially generating cost savings as high as $4.4 billion annually.”
67. Nearly half of consumers lack confidence in retail health clinics. According to Benefits Pro, 47% of consumers say they’re not confident in the quality of care provided by retail health clinics.
68. Many key interactions throughout the patient journey are virtual. CallMiner reports on research from Deloitte that found that “50 to 75% of the most important patient interactions are conducted virtually and can be more consistently handled by an enterprise contact center.”
69. More patients are using remote patient monitoring (RPM) tools. Insider Intelligence estimates that more than 30 million patients will utilize RPM tools by 2024, and an estimated 70.6 million patients in the U.S. (26.2% of the population) will use remote patient monitoring tools by 2025.
70. Virtual healthcare consultations have increased significantly. In Accenture’s 2021 Health and Life Sciences Experience Survey, 32% of respondents said they’ve had a virtual consultation within the past year, compared to just 7% in 2020. 48% of respondents, however, said they’ve never had a virtual healthcare appointment.
71. More than 8 out of 10 patients are satisfied with virtual healthcare appointments. A survey conducted by Deloitte found that 82% of patients “were satisfied with the experience of virtual medical appointments, and 62% of survey respondents said they’re likely to continue attending appointments virtually after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
72. Most healthcare consumers prefer digital solutions over phone and in-person solutions. In the McKinsey 2017 Consumer Health Insights Survey, 70% of consumers said they prefer digital solutions for their health needs rather than in-person or phone-based interactions. 68% preferred digital solutions for shopping for health plans, 73% for searching for a doctor, 69% for checking their health information, 77% to monitor their health metrics, 79% to pay insurance bills, and 71% to order prescription medications and refills.
73. Ease of scheduling and attendance are among the top reasons patients like virtual healthcare appointments. Deloitte’s Connectivity & Mobile Trends 2021 survey found that 44% of respondents reported the ease of attending appointments as one of the two things they like best about virtual medical appointments, while 43% say they appreciate that virtual appointments reduce their chances of getting COVID-19. 20% cite the ease of scheduling virtual appointments as one of the things they like most.
74. About one out of five practices offer remote patient monitoring. In April 2021, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reported on findings from its most recent MGMA Stat poll, in which just 22% of respondents said their practice offers remote patient monitoring.
75. More than one-fourth of patients miss the face-to-face connection of in-person appointments. In Deloitte’s Connectivity & Mobile Trends 2021 survey, 28% of respondents reported that the lack of the human, face-to-face connection was one of the most challenging aspects of virtual healthcare appointments.
76. Many patients continue to engage more through digital channels. McKinsey & Company found that 81% of consumers surveyed use digital channels to check health information, 79% to schedule appointments, and 71% to get prescriptions.
77. More patients get the prescriptions and information they need from virtual visits. Deloitte found that in 2020, 36% of consumers said they received the prescription they needed from a virtual visit, compared to 19% in 2018. 46% said they received the information they needed, compared to 34% in 2018.
78. Digitally enabled patient engagement capabilities could reduce healthcare costs significantly. In 2019, McKinsey & Company estimated that enhancing and personalizing patient engagement opportunities with digital capabilities could reduce medical costs by $175 billion to $220 billion annually.
79. Most U.S. healthcare consumers are open to RPM. According to a survey conducted by MSI International, 80% of Americans are in favor of remote patient monitoring.
80. Telehealth utilization has increased to 38x pre-COVID levels. According to McKinsey & Company, “Telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. After an initial spike to more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurring via telehealth in April 2020, utilization levels have largely stabilized, ranging from 13 to 17 percent across all specialties. This utilization reflects more than two-thirds of what we anticipated as visits that could be virtualized.”
81. Patients are waiting longer for virtual appointments. 32% of patients surveyed by Deloitte said their wait time was shorter compared to their typical wait time for an in-person appointment, compared to 44% in 2018.
82. Healthcare consumers see several benefits of RPM. mHealth Intelligence, reporting on the findings of MSI International’s survey, explains, “And while their doctors may pitch the service as a means of improving clinical outcomes, patients have other goals in mind. According to the survey, 43 percent see greater convenience as a major benefit of RPM, while 39 percent cited efficiency, 37 percent cited more control over personal health and 36 percent listed accuracy or peace of mind.”
83. Providers say several virtual visit factors need improvement. Deloitte Insights explains, “Most physicians (90%) said essential factors for virtual health were absent in their practices. Physicians deemed training on how to improve practice revenue with virtual health, adequate reimbursement for virtual health, and understanding regulations around virtual health essential, but lacking. Similarly, 85% of physicians cited training around improving skills such as conveying empathy in virtual visits as also essential, but absent in their practice.”
84. Many Americans are open to allowing physicians to monitor certain aspects of their health remotely. In MSI International’s survey, 70% of Americans are receptive to the idea of allowing physicians to monitor their blood pressure remotely, 68% are open to remote heart rate monitoring, 66% are receptive to remote blood sugar monitoring, and 65% are receptive to remote blood oxygen monitoring.
85. Physician resistance to virtual healthcare is waning. “The intent to use remote monitoring at home increased from 20% of physicians in 2018 to 33% in early 2020. Thirty-seven percent of physicians were planning on using video visits (up from 27% in 2018), and more physicians intended to review data from wearables than in 2018. These results point to a declining physician resistance to virtual health over time. One study looking at virtual visits in one health system saw virtual urgent care visits grew by 683% in a six-week period between early March and mid-April and a 4,345% increase in nonurgent virtual visits during that same period,” according to Deloitte Insights.
86. RPM technologies offer cost savings and can reduce the risk of hospital readmission. According to Insider Intelligence, “A KLAS Research report surveying 25 healthcare organizations found 38% of healthcare organizations running RPM programs focused on chronic care management reported reduced admissions, while 17% cited cost reductions.”
87. Nearly eight out of 10 patients have used a patient portal. According to PatientPop, 78.8% of patients say they’ve used a patient portal. 83.3% of patients who have used a patient portal used it to access test results, and 59.3% used it to view their personal health record.
88. Out-of-pocket spending decreased in 2020. Historical data from CMS shows that out-of-pocket spending decreased by 3.7% in 2020 to $388.6 billion, which accounts for 9% of total national healthcare expenditures.
89. Many consumers are concerned about their ability to afford medical bills. “Unexpected medical bills, including surprise medical bills, lead the list of expenses most Americans worry they would not be able to afford. Two-thirds of Americans say they are either ‘very worried’ (38 percent) or ‘somewhat worried’ (29 percent) about being able to afford their own or a family member’s unexpected medical bills,” according to Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker.
90. Patients are more satisfied with their experiences with transactions than with information gathering. When asked about payer attributes, around 70% of consumers responding to a McKinsey & Company survey reported satisfaction with transactions such as filling prescriptions and paying premiums. However, just half (~50%) of respondents said they’re satisfied with their experience when seeking information.
91. It’s estimated that a majority of medical bills contain errors. In a 2016 article, Becker’s Hospital Review reported that billing advocates and other health industry professionals estimate that as many as 80% of medical bills contain errors. Pat Palmer, founder and CEO of Medical Billing Advocates of America, reported that her organization identifies erroneous charges in three out of four bills.
92. Limited price transparency is a concern for patients. Patient Engagement HIT reports on a 2018 survey conducted by Connance, which found that more than 25% of patients who received medical bills less than $100 said they wish they would have been informed of their out-of-pocket costs prior to receiving the care, while nearly 75% of patients who received bills between $500 and $1,000 said the same.
93. Consumers will switch providers for a better payment experience. According to Best Card, 66% of consumers say they’d switch providers for an easier payment experience and the ability to pay online.
94. Out-of-pocket expenses are on the rise. Finance System, Inc. reports that out-of-pocket obligations for patients have jumped by 29.5% since 2015.
95. Nearly one-third of patients leave healthcare practices after an appointment without paying anything. According to Finance System, Inc., more than 30% leave the practice following an appointment without making a payment. What’s more, once they leave, patients are 50% less likely to pay their bill.
96. Many patients receive unexpected medical bills. According to Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, “Four in ten (39%) insured nonelderly adults said they received an unexpected medical bill in the past 12 months, including one in ten who say that bill was from an out-of-network provider. Of those who received an unexpected bill, half say the amount they were expected to pay was less than $500 overall while 13 percent say the unexpected costs were $2,000 or more.”
97. More than 100 million people in the U.S. have medical debt. NPR reports that 41% of adults in the U.S., and over 100 million people overall, are living with medical debt.
98. More than half of adults in the U.S. have debt resulting from medical or dental bills. According to NPR, more than 50% of U.S. adults say they’ve gone into debt because of medical or dental bills in the past five years.
99. Medical debt can hinder access to vital healthcare services. The Kaiser Family Foundation explains, “Health care debt can also affect the ability of individuals to access needed medical or dental care. One in seven adults with health care debt say they have been denied care by a provider due to unpaid bills. In addition, adults with health care debt are more than twice as likely as those without debt to say they or someone they live with have postponed or skipped getting needed health care because of the cost.”
100. The use of mailed bills is decreasing, while the use of automated calls and text messages is growing. According to a report by U.S. Bank, the use of mailed billing statements decreased by 16% from 2020 to 2021, while automated calls from the provider grew by 10% and text message notifications grew by 8%. Reliance on the provider’s online portal increased by 9%, and the use of in-app notifications increased by 6%.
101. Nearly one-fourth of U.S. adults with medical debt have past due bills or bills they can’t pay. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “More specifically, about a quarter of adults (24%) say they currently have medical or dental bills that are past due or that they are unable to pay, about one in five (21%) say they have bills they are paying off over time directly to a provider, about one in six say they have debt they owe to a bank, collection agency, or other lender that for loans used to pay medical or dental bills (17%) or say they have medical or dental bills they have put on a credit card and are paying off over time (17%), and one in ten (10%) say they have debt they owe to a family member or friend for money borrowed to pay medical or dental bills.”