HealthMine: Two-in-five tech-savvy patients have not heard of telemedicine
DALLAS – A HealthMine survey of 500 insured consumers who use mobile/internet-connected health applications released Sunday found that 39% still have not heard of telemedicine. What's more, only one third of respondents say their health plan offers telehealth as an option.
However, 93% of those who have used telemedicine say it has lowered their healthcare costs.
"Telehealth will find its place in the health services market as did urgent care centers," noted Bryce Williams, HealthMine president and CEO. "Health plan sponsors can play a significant role in educating their members about optimal options for treatment."
Telemedicine allows patients to connect with healthcare practioners through smartphones, computers and other devices. It can be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional healthcare. Remote visits tend to be faster and less expensive than most visits to the doctor's office, emergency rooms or urgent care clinics. And 55% of respondents who have access to telemedicine have used it.
Despite the potential benefits of telehealth when used appropriately, many Americans still prefer traditional, in-person provider visits. As many as 42% of respondents who haven't used telehealth say they prefer a doctor office visit. But, more than a quarter of consumers simply don't know when it is appropriate to use telemedicine versus traditional medicine.
Why consumers aren't using telemedicine:
- 42% prefer to see a traditional provider;
- 28% don't know when it is appropriate to use;
- 14% don't trust a virtual provider to diagnose/treat; and
- 14% not sure if it's covered by health insurance.
When asked which medical services they would consider using telehealth for (as opposed to traditional medicine), respondents answered:
- 44% would use for follow-up care for acute illness;
- 44% would use for symptom tracking/diagnosis;
- 44% would use for medication management/prescription renewal;
- 34% would use for follow-up care for a chronic condition;
- 31% would use for remote monitoring of vital signs; and
- 24% would use for behavioral/mental health.
Only 11% reported they would not use telehealth no matter the service provided.
The HealthMine Survey queried 500 consumers who use mobile and/or Internet-connected health applications/devices, and are enrolled in a 2016 health plan. The survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International in March of 2016. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error is 4%.
Sears Holdings hires turnaround specialist as chief administrative officer
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings announced Monday that James Andrew has joined the company in the new role of chief administrative officer. In this position he will be responsible for the company's corporate support functions, including financial planning and analysis, business finance, procurement, legal and human resources.
"Jim is a proven executive with deep expertise leading business performance improvement, corporate strategy and delivering on key objectives," said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings' chairman and CEO. "His range and depth of experiences managing corporate transformations and capability development makes him a strong fit for Sears Holdings as we pursue our member-focused transformation."
Andrew comes to Sears Holdings from Royal Philips, where as an EVP and the chief strategy and innovation officer. He played a central role in the multi-year transformation of Philips' performance, productivity and capability development. He was responsible for the company's business and market growth strategies and annual planning. Andrew also led the company's digital transformation and a major repositioning of Philips' portfolio, among many other accomplishments.
Prior to Philips, Andrew spent 25 years with The Boston Consulting Group, where he most recently served as a senior partner and managing director. At BCG he consulted with Fortune 250 companies across a wide range of industries on business performance improvement, corporate strategy, portfolio composition and shareholder value creation and growth. Andrew also established BCG's Innovation Practice and served as its global leader for many years, providing organizations with support on product development, speed, innovation strategy, portfolio management and resource allocation.
Andrew has served as a charter member of the USA's National Advisory Committee for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is the lead author of "Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation," selected as a "Top 10 Innovation Book" of the year by Bloomberg Businessweek. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois.
CDC: ‘Weakest’ flu season in three seasons peaked in mid-March
ATLANTA – For the week ended March 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that influenza activity decreased slightly, but remained elevated in the United States. Even so, by all indications the week ended March 12 may have been the peak of the 2015/2016 influenza season.
That means while this season may have started later than is typical, and lasted longer than is typical, the U.s. hasn't experienced a season with as few overall visits for influenza-like illness since the 2011/2012 season.
Puerto Rico and seven states (Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Virginia) are still experiencing high ILI activity. And New York City and eight states (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah) are still experiencing moderate ILI activity.
That may have something to do with the influenza vaccine this year, which matched well to the circulating viruses this year.
Last month, the CDC reported preliminary overall influenza vaccine effectiveness of 59% this season. This finding is comparable to past estimates for seasons when most circulating flu viruses and vaccine viruses have been similar.
"This means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60%,” stated Joseph Bresee, chief of CDC’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. "It’s good news and underscores the importance and the benefit of both annual and ongoing vaccination efforts this season."
"Flu activity this season started a bit later and has been lower so far than we've seen during the previous three seasons," Bresee said.
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