Consumer / Employer, Health Tech

All Generations Find Telehealth Beneficial, New CVS Health Data Shows

A new CVS Health survey found that 76% of adults agree that telehealth is more convenient than other healthcare options. Additionally, 75% agree that it is more flexible, 75% believe that it is easier to schedule appointments and 77% said that it is quicker to provide care. The percentages varied slightly by generation, although a vast majority of each age group still said they agreed with these characteristics for telehealth.

The verdict is in.

Americans of all ages believe telehealth is helpful for multiple reasons, according to a new CVS Health and Harris Poll survey. 

A whopping 76% of adults agree that telehealth is more convenient than other healthcare options. Additionally, 75% agree that it is more flexible for scheduling (meaning they can find a time that’s more convenient for them), 75% believe that it is easier to schedule appointments (meaning visits are easier to book from a tech perspective) and 77% said that it is quicker to provide care. The percentages varied slightly by generation, although a vast majority of each age group still said they agreed with these characteristics for telehealth.

“As our recent data shows, consumers are increasingly comfortable with virtual care,” Creagh Milford, DO, MPH, senior vice president of retail health at CVS Health. “We now live in a world where you can easily navigate your mobile banking or order your coffee from your phone. As such, consumers are starting to expect the same convenience and digital capabilities in health care as well as more options in how they access their care.”

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More than 2,000 people responded to the CVS Health and Harris Poll survey, which was conducted in November. The population sample included 396 Gen Z/Young Millennials, 318 Older Millennials, 585 Gen X adults and 721 Boomers. The data has not been published, but CVS Health shared the raw data with MedCity News.

When asked how familiar they are with telehealth visits, 29% of all respondents said they are “very familiar” and 39% said they are “somewhat familiar,” for a total of 68%. The responses were similar when broken down by age.

While most adults find telehealth visits beneficial, paradoxically fewer see themselves receiving care through a telehealth appointment in the next year. In total, 53% said they are likely to have a telehealth visit, while 47% said they are unlikely. Older Millennials are the most likely to access telehealth services at 69%, followed by Gen X at 58%, Gen Z/Younger Millennials at 53% and Boomers at 44%.

The survey results point to the general favorability of telehealth, meaning Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health’s recent launch of its new virtual primary care offering seems grounded in reality.

The offering is available to Aetna commercial members enrolled in eligible fully-insured and self-insured plans. They can have virtual primary care visits with a provider of their choice, receive 24/7 care for common illnesses and infections, and schedule virtual mental health support.

The creation of the retailer’s virtual primary care offering comes at a time when Americans are plagued with long wait times. Patients wait 26 days on average to schedule a new appointment with a physician. CVS Health hopes to move the needle on that stat, Milford said.

“Health care can be difficult to access and navigate. Patients can face weeks of waiting to see a provider and insufficient time with that provider once they are finally seen,” Milford stated. “CVS Health Virtual Primary Care demonstrates our commitment to improving the primary care experience and making health care more convenient and accessible.”

Photo: Alisa Zahoruiko, Getty Images

Graphic source: CVS Health and Harris Poll