*EMBARGOED All research presented at the 2021 ACG Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course is strictly embargoed until Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 3:30 pm EDT.

Naresh Gunaratnam, MD
Naresh Gunaratnam, MD

P0897 Patient Perception of Telehealth Services Compared to In-Person Office Visits Across Multiple Gastroenterology Practices

Author Insight from Naresh Gunaratnam, MD, Huron Gastroenterology Associates

What’s new here and important for clinicians?

To encourage greater use of telemedicine during the pandemic, federal regulators temporarily relaxed restrictions and raised Medicare payment for telemedicine visits to the same level as in-person visits and waived or reduced cost sharing for patients. As pandemic-related regulations expire, policymakers may need to address insurance coverage of telemedicine services going forward.

This survey-based study adds to existing literature showing high rates of patient and provider satisfaction with telehealth and additionally shows that the quality of virtual care can be perceived as similar to in-person care.

  • Almost three in four respondents indicated receiving similar quality of care through telehealth as compared to in-person visits and more than three in five stated that patient-physician interaction was also similar.
  • Most patients were likely to continue using telehealth services after the pandemic mainly due to shorter wait and travel times, flexibility, and ease of scheduling.
  • Younger and employed patients are more likely to recommend telehealth to family or friends compared to older and retired patients. Improvements to telehealth focused on these populations will increase access to high-quality care and enhance patient satisfaction.
  • More research is needed to examine the experience of under-represented minorities with telehealth services

    What do patients need to know?

    Telehealth is a convenient way for you and your healthcare team to connect without reducing the quality of your care. The benefits of telehealth include scheduling flexibility, shorter wait times, and reduced travel time and costs. Patients are generally very satisfied with virtual visits and most view the quality of care as similar to that of in-person visits. Few patients experience technical difficulties or require follow-up office visits.

    Read the Abstract

    Author Contact
    Naresh Gunaratnam, MD, Huron Gastroenterology Associates
    gunaratnamn [at] hurongastro [dot] com

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