67% of patients say telemedicine is better than in-person visits, survey finds 

Most gastroenterology and hepatology patients and their physicians have favored telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Penn Medicine survey.

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine researchers surveyed almost 800 gastroenterology and hepatology patients and their physicians for the analysis. Between March 16 and April 10, 94 percent of the health system's gastroenterology and hepatology appointments were delivered via telemedicine. 

Five survey findings:

1. Sixty-seven percent of both patients and physicians considered video and telephone appointments held during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic as positive and acceptable substitutes to in-person visits.

2. Patients at least 60 years old as well as Black patients of any age viewed telephone and video appointments as slightly less positive compared to younger patients and those of other ethnic backgrounds.

3. Sixty-one percent of patients 60 years and older and 62 percent of Black patients said the telemedicine visits were "good/better" than traditional visits.

4. Sixty-seven percent of patients who participated in a video or phone visit said the visit was "good/better" than traditional in-person appointments, with 96 percent of the participants saying they were "somewhat/very satisfied with medical care" they received.

5. Eighty-eight percent of physicians who participated in video or phone visits said the visit was "good/better" than traditional in-person appointments, with 80 percent of the participants saying they were "somewhat/very satisfied" with the medical care they were able to provide.

More articles on telehealth:
How Cleveland Clinic created a telehealth team and new documentation to tackle coding, billing changes
10 payers extend telehealth coverage in Oregon through 2020
FCC grants $29.41M more in telehealth funding to 77 providers

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