Avoiding Communication Biases When Marketing Hybrid Care
// By Heidi Jannenga //
Using the example of physical therapy, this author makes the case for eliminating unconscious age bias that assumes older patients are less interested in digital communications and telehealth. The truth is patients of all ages want and need a hybrid approach to care and communications that will help them achieve the best possible outcome.
During the height of the pandemic, telehealth rose to 50 percent adoption for specialties like physical therapy. But utilization has been on a slow decline since then, particularly after the COVID public health emergency ended in May 2023.
According to a recent report, year over year, telehealth utilization is down 17 percent. Many providers who offered telehealth previously noted that their practices currently don’t offer telehealth at all or offer it on a limited basis. But the flexibility that telehealth provides to patients is undeniable. Telehealth will never replace in-person care, but the hybrid care model is quickly becoming the new normal.
Combining in-person appointments with remote therapeutic monitoring and some virtual follow-up visits can help keep patients engaged, lower the overall cost of care, and provide more visit compliance, which ultimately means better patient outcomes.
But unfortunately, some communication biases prevent patients from fully experiencing the benefits of these hybrid care options — or even knowing they’re available in the first place.
This gap presents an opportunity for practices to set themselves apart from the competition. With more patients self-referring than ever before, providers must give extra attention to how they communicate with potential patients of all ages and backgrounds.
Here’s what to know when marketing hybrid care.
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