SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the healthcare landscape and patient needs evolve, so do consumers’ perceptions and behaviors around primary care and the role that virtual care plays. To better understand these changing preferences, Doctor On Demand, the nation’s leading virtual care provider, conducted a survey entitled “The State of Primary Care in America” and is announcing the findings today.
Our study revealed an appreciation for the importance of primary care, yet a number of barriers preventing consumers from accessing it. Consumers cite time constraints and financial burden as primary reasons they only utilize primary care when they are not feeling well. And, while most acknowledge that virtual care can deliver easier access to healthcare, many still view it as a quick, one-off solution.
The primary care shortage continues to worsen, leaving patients with a dearth of affordable and convenient care options. As a result, Americans wait an average of 24 days to get an appointment with a primary care physician, and the average time spent in a waiting room is 64 minutes. The time it takes to see a physician proves to be a major barrier for consumers and is poised to worsen over the next decade. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the United States will see a shortage of more than 120,000 physicians by 2032.
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However, our survey results show that virtual care may be a viable solution to these challenges. More than half of consumers believe that virtual visits can deliver easier access to healthcare, highlighting an opportunity to serve those patients who are unable to see their physician in-person, or do not have a primary care physician.
“The results of our survey validate that consumers are open to receiving primary care virtually, which can rapidly improve patient care and solve for challenging access barriers that exist today,” said Hill Ferguson, CEO of Doctor On Demand. “We see an enormous opportunity to strengthen the healthcare system by connecting more consumers to high quality, video-based virtual primary care.”
Doctor On Demand’s “The State of Primary Care in America” survey polled more than 1,000 consumers from across the country. Key findings include:
Most consumers understand the depth of what a primary care physician can treat. More than 70% of consumers are knowledgeable around the wide range of conditions a primary care physician can treat, including chronic conditions, stress, and anxiety. Yet, more than 25% do not see a physician for ongoing or preventive care.