Yelp-like capabilities could help telehealth companies boost satisfaction

The data: Despite the surge in telehealth adoption during the pandemic, there are still major pain points contributing to lower satisfaction with the tech, per J.D. Power’s 2021 Telehealth Satisfaction Study.

  • Overall satisfaction of telehealth vendors dropped from 2020 to 2021, according to the survey.
  • Limited services (24%), lack of awareness of costs (15%), confusing tech requirements (15%), and lack of information about providers (15%) are the top pain points driving healthcare consumers’ lower satisfaction rates.

Digging into the data: It isn’t surprising that consumer satisfaction with telehealth dropped. Adoption of the tech increased dramatically since J.D. Power’s last survey, so more patients are accustomed with the tech—and its challenges.

  • In 2019, for instance, only 10% of survey respondents had even tried virtual care—compared with 36% of respondents this year.
  • As more people use the tech, they're more likely to notice its flaws.
  • Plus, this year, 57% of consumers say they’re opting for telehealth over in-office care due to factors like convenience and the ability to get quick care.

The bigger picture: Telehealth companies are realizing consumers don’t want to tap different telehealth platforms for different types of care—they strongly value the convenience of one-stop-shops.

We’ve seen direct-to-consumer (D2C) vendors react to the limitations of telehealth by entrenching themselves into every corner of healthcare, not just urgent or primary care:

  • For example, D2C vendor Ro recently acquired womens’ health startup Modern Fertility to add womens’ health to its platform—a few months before it announced its entry into mental health care.

The opportunity: Telehealth vendors can set themselves apart from the pack even more by adding an internal provider search and review tools, similar to Zocdoc or Yelp.

Even telehealth vendors like Teladoc with higher-than-average consumer satisfaction scores in J.D. Power's ranking don't let patients sift through available providers based on factors like consumer ratings or provider specialty.

  • More than half (54%) of consumers have consulted online reviews to choose a healthcare provider, while 98% say online reviews are influential when choosing a healthcare provider, according to Cedar’s 2020 Healthcare Consumer Experience survey.