27M households were unable to visit a physician virtually in 2021, report shows

Twenty-seven million U.S. broadband households reported being unable to visit a doctor in 2021, according to research released Oct. 13 by market research and consulting company Parks Associates.

The report also found that as of April, 64 percent of U.S. broadband households had used a telehealth service in the past 12 months. 

Of those households, 34 percent reported they had to use telehealth as the only option to see their provider. More than one-fourth said potential exposure to COVID-19 drove them to use telehealth. Twenty-eight percent cited convenience.

"Patients' inability to see a doctor due to staffing shortages, overcrowded hospitals, and concerns over the delta variant of COVID-19 are continuing to drive increased usage of virtual consultations," Jennifer Kent, PhD, Parks Associates' vice president of research, said in a news release. "In the first half of 2021, slightly fewer households reported they were unable to see their doctor, compared to 2020, but still with over 27 million households unable to see their care provider as desired, that creates a huge gap that telehealth services can fill."


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