Evolving hybrid care expectations

Telehealth appointment on tablet and prescription bottle in right hand

Virtual capabilities have become a mainstream solution in care delivery. Consumers, employers and plans embrace a variety of virtual and hybrid care formats, but some apprehension remains.

Telehealth appointment on tablet and prescription bottle in right hand

Virtual and hybrid care options are becoming the norm

More than half of privately insured consumers (58%) say they have used virtual care in the past 12 months.

When considering the circumstances that would justify using virtual care instead of in-person care, they supply a variety of responses.



Can remain at home/work





Man sits in bed for telemedicine appointment on this smart phone

Consumer hesitation towards hybrid care.

Despite plan sponsors' significant investment in hybrid care—and the fact that access to alternate settings can actually improve health outcomes—consumers’ misperceptions about nontraditional care settings could lead them to reject these options.

Half of consumer respondents express perceiving diminished quality of care outside of hospitals and providers’ offices.

Nevertheless, plan sponsors remain less concerned, with only one-third of employers and one-quarter of health plan leaders sharing consumers’ opinion.

Greatest concerns with hybrid care:



Quality of care



Employees' ability to use technology


Health Plan Leaders:

Limited integration with in-person providers

Satisfaction with virtual care remains high

Despite these concerns, consumers that do engage in virtual care report a consistently high degree of satisfaction with their experiences, with remarkably little variation across gender, generation and race/ethnicity. Four clinical disciplines earn especially high marks:

94% Primary care

91% Urgent care

91% Specialists

90% Mental health counselors or therapists

Consumers with employer-sponsored health plans:


Need more help knowing what is covered by their insurance


Are frustrated with navigating the various care, benefit and vendor offerings


Say it's difficult to know when to use which benefit offered by their employers

Consumers find it difficult to navigate benefits

The most significant challenges for plan sponsors involve overlapping benefits. If consumers are unable to find the care they need, health concerns can go unaddressed, leading to adverse events and more serious, more costly conditions. It will be essential to amplify benefit education efforts for a better, more unified health care experience. 

By coordinating initiatives to improve awareness,

plan sponsors can help to educate consumers, informing them about all the care options available to them, including both virtual and brick-and-mortar care.

Education efforts will be critical

to arming consumers with the information required to access the care they need -- for greater productivity, better outcomes and a more cohesive experience. 

Growing technology options

can provide consumers with a stronger connection to their health, offering solutions to the fragmentation shaping the health care landscape.

Gabe Bush

"A digital-first approach is no longer simply an industry trend or initiative."

"It's a baseline customer expectation. And that holds true for patients in our specialty pharmacy. Year over year, we see more and more patients enroll and use our digital tools, and the demand for more self-service functionality is only increasing. We've responded to that demand through simple methods like using text messaging for refills, and more sophisticated mobile-first experiences such as our Symptom Health Trackers."

Gabe Bush

Director of Digital Patient Solutions, Accredo