Telehealth visits up 312% in New York, causing major lag times

Telehealth services have seen a 312 percent increase in demand from New York patients amid the coronavirus outbreak, Amwell spokesperson Holly Spring told CNBC News.

“The rate of use of telehealth … seems to be correlating with the movement and impact of the virus,” she said. “We are seeing low, moderate and high risk COVID-19 patients every day.”

Amwell has been working quickly to hire physician nurses in all 50 states to treat patients virtually. The company estimates patient visit volume is up 257 percent. In Washington, Amwell has seen a 700 percent increase in terms of the number of visits.

However, with the surge in telehealth use, patients are experiencing unusual wait times. Ms. Spring said the average wait time has bumped to around 33 minutes compared to just six minutes in January.

To help prevent wait times, Doctor on Demand has patients take an 11-question online coronavirus risk assessment. At the end, patients will be told their risk of carrying COVID-19. A company spokesperson said the assessment was developed due to “unprecedented demand.”

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