For all its promise, virtual care has its limitations. Most times, patients still need to be seen in person. Questions remain, however: How much of care can be reasonably moved to a virtual setting? What will the balance between in-person and virtual care look like in the future? How will virtual-first or virtual-only care companies integrate with the physical care environment going forward?
In a recent analysis conducted by Second Opinion, a health-tech newsletter, and the digital health firm Omada found that about 30% of care can be delivered virtually. The conclusion was based on a review of more than 9,500 Category I CPT codes against a rubric of clinical feasibility for virtual care and other factors.
This 30% of care that can be virtualized keeps digital health companies humming. Many patients will self-select where virtual care makes more sense, the report notes, including musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes management and behavioral health. Others are consolidating to offer more comprehensive solutions that include bricks-and-mortar offerings and virtual options.
So, what should providers be focused on to optimize virtual care program designs? Here are some takeaways from the report:
- Personalize care in a way that couldn’t be duplicated in an in-person setting. Done right, virtual care can feel like it was shaped for each patient.
- Create better coordination among different types of caregivers. The best in-person providers locate specialties within their buildings. This approach can be even more powerful in a virtual setting.
- Deliver more value per medical credential. By combining people and technology, a medical professional’s credential can have further reach and deliver greater value at a lower cost.
With your organization’s data, health care leaders can think more deeply about what future care can and should look like.