SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

June 11, 2015 07:00 ET

Consumer Confusion Biggest Barrier to Broad Telemedicine Adoption

New :DentalPlans Survey Reveals 68% of Respondents Are Unfamiliar With Telemedicine

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - June 11, 2015) - Telemedicine would be wildly popular if more people knew what it was and how it worked.

In a new survey*, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of the 6,856 respondents said that they were unfamiliar with telemedicine. But after reading a brief definition of telemedicine -- "being able to speak to a health care professional by phone or over the Internet ... get a diagnosis, advice on managing the issue, and if applicable, prescriptions for certain types of non-narcotic drugs" -- the majority (59 percent) said that they wanted to try a telemedicine service.

The survey was conducted in February 2015 by :DentalPlans, a leader in providing access to affordable, quality health care.

The survey revealed that the primary attractors to telemedicine are: (respondents could select multiple answers)

  • Can get medical care without having to travel to a health care facility (53.9 percent)
  • Easy access to medical help around the clock (50.5 percent)
  • No need for a doctor's visit to manage reoccurring minor illnesses such as allergies and sinus infections (38.8 percent)
  • No need to pay for a visit to a doctor, emergency room or urgent care clinic (35.5 percent)
  • No worries about being exposed to other people's illnesses while waiting at a doctor/hospital/clinic (21.1 percent)
  • Ability to get medical care when unable to take time off work (17.2 percent)

Thirty-seven percent of those polled said that they would not (16.7 percent) or probably would not (20.4 percent) try telemedicine. Reasons for their disinterest ranged from "prefer to go to my own doctor" (65.4 percent), to quality of care concerns (12.8 percent), and discomfort with discussing health issues on the phone or online.

Only 3.3 percent of those polled had previously used a telemedicine service.

Thirty-five percent of Americans struggle with medical debt, despite the fact that 70 percent of those who are struggling have health care insurance. And by 2025, the United States faces a potential shortage of as many as 52,000 physicians, according to a recent article on Forbes.com. Telemedicine helps to address the affordability and access challenges present in the U.S. health system.

A 2011 Center for Disease Control study showed that 80 percent of adults who visited the emergency room for noncritical treatment went to the ER because they didn't have their own doctor. A visit to the ER costs (on average) $1,500 to $3,000, compared to $130 to $190 for a visit to the doctor. A telemedicine consultation typically costs $40.

:DentalPlans has just launched two new telemedicine programs -- :DP SmartHealth™ and :DP HealthNow™ -- to provide significant savings on state-of-the-art health and wellness services. Telemedicine consultations, among other services, are always free for plan members. The Telemedicine Plan is not available in all states.

"We wanted to make telemedicine and other modern health care services truly affordable for everyone," said Vice President Of Marketing for :DentalPlans, Bill Chase. "What :DentalPlans did for dental care -- offer great products backed by our own world-class customer service -- we're now doing for health care. People have lots of questions about telemedicine and plan members can count on our :DP AtYourService™ team for help and support every step of the way."

:DP SmartHealth is a bundle of health care and wellness savings programs, offered at one low price for the savvy, health conscious consumer. The plan provides 24/7/365 access to quality medical care through phone or video consultations with board-certified family practitioners, primary care physicians, and internists who can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions (when medically appropriate) to manage common problems such as flu, cold, sinus and respiratory infections, allergies, poison ivy, and other nonemergency illnesses.

:DP SmartHealth also provides additional discounts on services with a dental savings plan, reduced rates on vision -- including Lasik -- hearing, counseling and alternative health services, as well as deep discounts on a wide assortment of other popular wellness services and products. The plan even includes emergency medical travel assistance.

:DP SmartHealth may be purchased through :DentalPlans at http://www.dentalplans.com/dentalplans/dpsmarthealth. It is priced at $199.95 annually for an individual plan or $299.95 for a family plan. The plan also has a one-time, nonrefundable $20.00 processing fee.

:DP SmartHealth is NOT health insurance. Full details of the plan can be found on http://www.dentalplans.com/dentalplans/dpsmarthealth, and should be carefully reviewed before making a purchase. Plan availability and price may vary by state. :DentalPlans' AtYourService team can be reached at 866-552-7563 to answer any questions consumers may have about the plans.

* :DentalPlans conducted an internal survey of its customers between Feb. 24 and Mar. 1, 2015. A total of 6,856 national customers were surveyed. This is a :DP SmileMeter™ survey, part of the independent research conducted by :DentalPlans on a regular basis.

About :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.

We provide comprehensive resource centers aimed at helping people to maintain/regain optimal health, and successfully navigate the maze of healthcare payment options (including Obamacare and Medicaid.)

Our independent research -- the :DP SmileMeter™ and :DP SmileIndex™ -- delivers a unique look into the consumer healthcare market. We offer user-friendly access to a wide selection of traditional dental insurance and 40+dental savings plans, along with innovative healthcare offerings including telemedicine, medical advocacy, and online counseling services. Our online plan comparison and savings calculator tools help consumers to make smart choices about essential healthcare services, and our :DP AtYourService™ customer support team leaves no question unanswered. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Attachment Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2015/6/10/11G044452/Telemedicine_Infograph-677234872277.pdf

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