Consumer use of telehealth remains low, but for those who have used it, satisfaction with the experience ranks among the highest of any consumer category studied by J.D. Power, the insights and data company said Monday in releasing the results of its first-ever U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study.
Nationwide, J.D. Power said, only 10% of healthcare consumers have used telehealth services. But the overall customer satisfaction score among those who have used the services is 851 on a 1,000-point scale — among the highest of all healthcare, insurance and financial services industry studies conducted by J.D. Power. Only direct banking customer satisfaction ranks higher, with an average score of 855, the company said.
“Telehealth offers an alternative avenue to receive quality care that is cost efficient and accessible,” Greg Truex, managing director of health intelligence for J.D. Power, said in a statement. “Once providers and payers refine the formula for awareness and adoption, telehealth will change the landscape of how affordable and quality care is delivered.”
Additional findings of the study:
- 65% of telehealth-using participants said they used the service because they received a positive recommendation from a friend, family member or colleague (22%); health plan (21%); primary care physician (20%); employer (18%); or hospital or another provider (15%).
- Among people surveyed who have not used telehealth, 29% said that the service is not available to them, and 37% said they do not know whether it is offered by their health provider or health system. Self-reported availability was lowest in rural areas (25%).
- 84% of telehealth-using respondents said they were able to completely resolve their medical concern(s) during their telehealth visit, and 73% said they did not experience any issues during their service.
- Among health plan-provided telehealth services, Humana ranked highest, with a score of 864. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (863) was second, and Cigna (862) was third.
- Among direct-to-consumer brands, Teladoc ranked highest, with a score of 870. Doctor on Demand (867) was second, and MDLIVE (847) was third.
The study measured telehealth satisfaction based on four factors: customer service (45%); consultation (28%); enrollment (19%); and billing and payment (9%). Results are based on the responses of 8,296 people who had used a telehealth service within the past 12 months. The study was fielded in August and September.