National Study Finds Conflicting Views of Virtual Care’s Promise, Threatening its Growth High Optimism, Investment and Confusion
Omada Health and the Digital Medicine Society’s “State of Virtual Care” report reveals point of view from nearly 800 benefits buyers and shows strong belief in virtual care and a drastic need for a clearer roadmap
- 90% of survey respondents see virtual care as a high priority
- Majority believe virtual care is the principal means to improve patient care and outcomes
- Nearly 50% believe it will become the primary model of care — but few have a clear understanding of the model
- More than 95% who already offer virtual care are looking to expand but need a roadmap
- Only 15% of respondents identify as having experience across all areas of virtual care
SAN FRANCISCO -- November 3, 2022 -- Omada Health, a chronic care integrated healthcare provider, released its first survey on the “State of Virtual Care” in partnership with the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) and with insights from Rock Health.
As healthcare professionals grapple with the future of the industry overall, Omada and DiMe’s survey of nearly 800 employers, payers and benefit consultants uncovers their current understanding of virtual care and plans for creating a more successful virtual care future.
Optimism and Obstacles
The research found that 59% of employers, payers and consultants agree that virtual care is here to stay, and, of this group, nearly 50% believe that it will become the primary model of care in the future. However, a lack of understanding, loose definitions and inconsistent deployment models are current obstacles.
The industry often equates virtual care with telemedicine however, knowing the difference is important:
- Telemedicine is a digital replacement of conventional, in-person care.
- Virtual Care is a broader scope of remote healthcare services, including clinical or non-clinical support.
Buyers today are inundated with vendors labeling themselves “virtual care providers,” regardless of the care model they’re selling. This phenomenon is obscuring the collective understanding of virtual care and how to recognize vendors who offer best-in-class virtual care.
This limited view is keeping buyers from imagining the transformative potential of this model of care delivery, with only 15% of respondents saying they have experience across all areas of virtual care. And in fact, respondents say that no single chronic condition has full benefits coverage for virtual care yet. Data showed the top conditions currently covered are behavioral health or addiction management at 76% and diabetes or weight management at 72%
“Telemedicine is a visit, virtual care is a journey. In the face of rising cases of chronic conditions, increasing healthcare costs and social determinants of health, a virtual care model succeeds by putting patients at the center, providing ongoing access, personalized care and engagement,” said Wei-Li Shao, President of Omada Health. “While our survey shows a strong belief in virtual care, it also shows that the industry is unclear on what's next. As an industry leader, Omada Health is committed to helping define virtual care’s potential and educating about the powerful impact it can have on a wide variety of health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and musculoskeletal conditions.”
Data Reveals an Inflection Point in Healthcare
This first annual survey revealed a range of perspectives on virtual care held by those who make important buying decisions — employers, payers and consultants. Select data points include:
- 91% of all respondents believe virtual care is an extremely high priority for their organizations in the next 3 to 5 years
- 66% of employers and 51% of payers and consultants are extremely willing to adopt innovative approaches and technology
- 53% of employers and plans believe virtual care is a principal means of improving patient care and outcomes
- 56% of employers and 54% of plans believe virtual care offers a real opportunity to transform healthcare in ways that positively address social determinants of health
- 14% of respondents are virtual care visionaries; meaning they see the full potential of virtual care, believe it’s the best model of care and are prioritizing it — virtual care visionaries are setting a roadmap for the industry’s future
- 56% of these virtual care visionaries believe that Virtual-First Care, a model gaining traction in the healthcare ecosystem, will play a significant role in impacting patient care in the next 5 years. For more on Virtual-First Care visit impact.dimesociety.org.
“Rock Health has long observed the adoption of telemedicine and found that patients highly value new types of care options,” said Megan Zweig, Chief Operating Officer, Rock Health. “Telemedicine simply digitizes in-person care—conversely, impactful virtual care redesigns how care is delivered, putting the patient at the center and leveraging technology to enable proactive, continuous management. This transition is essential to make significant strides in patient care.”
“We need to establish and drive adoption of a standard for virtual care – with consistent protocol and the critical steps needed to build a strong foundation for this type of care delivery,” said Linette Demers, Program Director, IMPACT, DiMe . “We, as an industry, need to drive change together with singular focus, swift action and patients at the center to maximize the full value of virtual care.”
The “State of Virtual Care” report outlines a clear definition and path forward with examples from virtual care visionaries that are already following this model and seeing patient lives transformed. Download the full report here.
“Telemedicine has been part of our employee benefits strategy, and the pandemic kicked the approach into high gear. Now, there’s an expectation for a virtual option, and we’re excited to see the model evolve,” said Anne Grimmius, Benefits and Compensation Manager at Federated Insurance. “Our use of Omada Health’s virtual chronic health programs across pre-diabetes and diabetes programs are critical to our employees’ well-being. In our diabetes management program, we’re experiencing 90% program satisfaction and 32% of members achieved more than 5% weight loss 26 weeks into the program. At Federated Insurance, we’ll continue to find ways to deliver on virtual care.”
To learn more about Omada Health's programs, visit: https://www.omadahealth.com/platform
# # #
About Omada Health
Omada Health delivers integrated, virtual care across chronic conditions, a top clinical need for employers and health plans. By combining clinical best practices with the science of behavior change, Omada Health improves member health and reduces the cost of care. Working with over 1,700+ customers — including health plans, health systems, and employers ranging in size from small businesses to Fortune 500s across a wide variety of industries — Omada delivers personalized interventions for diabetes, diabetes prevention, hypertension, and musculoskeletal issues. All programs include integrated behavioral health support. Omada Health’s virtual care programs are clinically supported and evidence-based, with results published in multiple peer-reviewed journals. To learn more, visit www.omadahealth.com.