Deirdre Savage, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, spoke to members about the changing landscape of the health care industry. One of the striking changes they are seeing during the pandemic is the explosion of telehealth services (virtual medical visits). Deirdre said that prior to the pandemic providers were having an average of 200 telehealth visits a day. Today, this telehealth number is averaging 40,000 visits a day! While health care providers have shifted out of necessity, this new delivery of healthcare is proving to have many benefits in convenience, less idle time for travel and waiting room and less exposure to other sick patients. It is also worth noting that of the 40,000 visits a day, nearly half are visits for mental health. Yet another benefit as the telehealth lifts barriers for people to seek help.
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