Heal’s ‘First-time Patient’ Survey Proves Doctor House Calls Relieve Urgent Care and Emergency Room Inconvenience and Cost

Heal’s ‘First-time Patient’ Survey Proves Doctor House Calls Relieve Urgent Care and Emergency Room Inconvenience and Cost

Heal announced the results of its 2019 first-time patient user survey. Having delivered more than 110,000 house calls since February 2015, Heal shared a voluntary survey with more than 6,000 patients who used Heal for the first time in 2018. Findings from the survey reveal substantial reduction in ER and urgent care overuse and pointed to a corresponding increase in timely care delivery. A highlight of those results includes:

  • 55.78 percent of first-time Heal users admit they would have gone to urgent care or an emergency room if Heal was not available
  • 37.4 percent would have waited an extended period of time to see their doctor or would have passed on seeking treatment at all if Heal was not available
  • 1.96 percent would have tried a telemedicine service if Heal was not available

According to a study in 2016 from the Health Care Cost Institute, the national median cost of emergency room visits for patients was nearly $1,917, while some states, such as California, range $2,268 or higher. As an ever-increasing number of patients choose Heal over avoidable trips to the ER or urgent care, Heal has delivered more than $65 million in healthcare cost savings to patients and insurance companies.

However, cost savings isn’t the only benefit Heal patients are claiming to experience.  In a recently published academic paper, authored by Dr. Eric Topol and his team, “Characteristics of the modern-day physician house call.” They independently performed a retrospective observational analysis on data collected on Heal house calls made to 13,849 patients over one year from August 2016 to July 2017.

It was concluded, among other findings, “The opportunity cost associated with an outpatient visit is significant; the mean time associated with ambulatory medical visits is 121 minutes, including 37 minutes of travel and 84 minutes at the clinic, of which face-to-face physician time is only approximately 20 minutes.”  Heal spends more than 300 percent longer with patients than the national average of seven minutes of face-to-face time with a doctor, resulting in higher patient satisfaction and better outcomes.

When it comes to patient satisfaction, Heal’s first-time user study also demonstrated a significantly higher satisfaction with doctor house calls and a willingness to recommend the service to others. Ninety-nine percent of the first-time Heal patients noted that they would use Heal again with one-third saying they never want to go to a doctor’s office again. Also, the survey results align with Heal’s Q4 2018 Patient Net Promoter Score, which reached an all-time high of +83.

Nick Desai

“Just as Amazon did to retail and Netflix did to entertainment, the patient satisfaction and the objective results we are delivering point to a disruption in the way people will get their healthcare in the US,” said Nick Desai, CEO of Heal. “With our approach to providing un-rushed, accessible care to people of all economic backgrounds and age groups, the primary care doctor will be primary again, and that healthy will happen at home.”

“Heal is succeeding at our goal of making it easier for patients to receive care and doctors to deliver high-quality primary care and to do so at a lower cost,” Desai continues. “In 2018 alone, Heal doctors were able to identify 16,000 previously unknown chronic conditions in patients they visited. This is something only at-home access and unrushed, unhurried appointments can and will continue to do. Heal doctors treat the patient in their home and can witness important contextual and environmental factors like mold or allergens, as well as view medications, food pantries, and stress factors, that enable them to guide a more personal, more effective plan of treatment for the patient. When doctors can perform preventive care in such a thorough manor, we can reduce costs for patients, providers and payers, improve outcomes, and empower patients to spend more time being well, and less time getting well.”

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