7 MIN READ
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 15% of physicians reported use of virtual care. In 2021—in the middle of the pandemic—that usage climbed to nearly 90%. At the time, virtual care—including teleconsultation and telehealth appointments—were necessary for staying safe and socially distanced.1
Now, doctors, hospitals and patients have become more comfortable with virtual care and have seen the real value and convenience that it provides. The revolution of virtual care in recent years has meant that accessing expert medical care from the comfort of your couch is here to stay.
Virtual care isn’t just a convenient way to keep out of the waiting room and fit a doctor’s appointment into your busy schedule, it also helps those who normally wouldn’t make the trip to the doctor in the first place. Virtual care is a great option for people who have challenges that may keep them from visiting a doctor’s office such as mobility or living in a rural area.
For those who regularly visit a doctor for the monitoring and management of a health condition such as a chronic condition, virtual care used in tandem with remote health monitoring devices has helped doctors detect warning signs, intervene faster, boost patient satisfaction and even improve overall quality of life.
If that wasn’t reason enough to see a doctor online next time—virtual care is also more often a more affordable option than in-person doctor’s visits. To find out how much a teleconsultation appointment may cost you, it’s best to check your benefit booklet for your health insurance plan.
Of course, there are times when virtual care is not appropriate and physical examination will be needed. Especially when an injury, illness or symptom requires urgent treatment, you should visit a provider in-person or, if it is life-threatening, visit an emergency room right away.
Next time you log onto your Credence member account, you can use the Find Care tool to find a provider who uses virtual care as well as estimated costs of that care. From there, you can book an appointment for care when and where it works for you.