When COVID-19 struck, the country underwent a near-overnight change in how we get health care. Primary and speciality care became, “all of a sudden,” nearly entirely virtual. It changed how we interact with our providers and showed that a revolution in virtual care could be on the horizon. But that’s not the whole story. For years, virtual care has shown major promise as a way to address access inequities in the health care system, including rural health care access, provider shortages, and transportation issues.
While COVID-19 has shown the potential of virtual care access, we can only have a true revolution if these dramatic changes don’t leave people behind. Thoughtful, intentional, and impactful change will take bringing people, policymakers, providers, and entrepreneurs together. The virtual care system of the future must be centered on people’s needs in order to close gaps and remove barriers to access.
At United States of Care, listening to people forms the base of all our work. We’ve taken deep dives into the experiences people have with virtual care and combined those learnings with leading research. We arrived at the suggestions here, so that policymakers can work effectively to use virtual care to close access gaps and improve equitable outcomes.