The data: Telehealth bookings dropped from 33% of all appointments in May 2020 to only 17% by May 2022, according to a new report from Zocdoc.
Physicians don’t like telehealth: At least not as much as their patients do.
Tech issues and patient examination barriers are common physician complaints with virtual care. Providers like ENT docs, OB-GYNs, or dermatologists want to conduct procedures or exams that can’t always be conducted virtually.
Plus, non-clinical factors (mainly distractions) made it difficult for some physicians to conduct their visits. Among many things making it difficult to deliver care virtually, physicians noted:
Sentiment may be stronger for telemental health: Despite the drop in booked telehealth visits, telemental visits remained a bright spot.
Psychologist appointments skew toward telehealth, too.
Primary care is primarily in person: In-person primary care appointments are climbing this year versus early in the pandemic.
The big takeaway: Telehealth is becoming less of a priority for patients as the urgency of COVID-19 wanes. It would be a smart bet for telehealth giants to double down on mental health offerings, though.
US adults’ telehealth usage decreased 6.1% in March alone, per nonprofit Fair Health’s tracking of medical claim lines. Researchers attributed the drop in telehealth adoption to the reduction of COVID-19 cases during that month.
Some companies are already renewing their focus on telemental health to keep consumer interest.