Insured patients prefer in-person communication to virtual with PCPs

Despite the push for technology-enabled medicine, the majority of adults with health insurance and a primary care physician actually prefer in-person visits and communication over virtual visits and communication, according to a report from Salesforce.

The report aggregates responses from more than 1,700 insured adults who have a primary care physician.

Results indicate these patients tend to prefer "traditional" methods of communication to connect with their physicians. For example,

  • Seventy-six percent of patients set up appointments with their primary care physicians over the phone, followed by 25 percent who do so in-person. Just 7 percent make appointments online.
  • Four out of 10 patients currently review health data in person, while approximately two out of 10 use web portals.
  • Similarly, 62 percent of patients said they rely on their physician to keep track of their health data, while 36 percent said they use electronic records and 28 percent hold on to physical records.
  • Patients prefer to receive test results from primary care physicians in person (44 percent), and the second preferred method is to check in by phone (35 percent).
  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents pay their health bill in person, and 29 percent pay by traditional mail. Just 8 percent pay health bills online.
  • Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) receive reminders about appointments and prescriptions from their primary are physicians by phone, compared to 22 percent who receive such reminders through email.

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