HAP's Latest News

Telehealth Use Among Adults Increases

August 19, 2020

New polls show the number of older adults using telehealth increased from 4 percent to 46 percent during 2020. The polls conducted during 2019 to 2020 included national samples of more than 2,000 adults age 50 to 80.

The 2020 and 2019 polls asked many of the same questions, bringing valuable insights, including:

  • 17 percent have never used any video conferencing tool before (11% fewer than during 2019)
  • 64 percent felt comfortable with video conferencing (up from 53% during 2019)
  • 62 percent said at least one of their providers offered telehealth visits (up from 14% during 2019)
  • 72 percent showed interest in using telehealth (up from 58% during 2019)

The number of participants with telehealth privacy concerns decreased from 49 percent during 2019 to 24 percent during 2020. While more patients are embracing digital alternatives to health treatments, many Pennsylvanians are still struggling to gain access to telehealth services.

HAP is continuing to work with Pennsylvania hospitals and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to create greater access to telemedicine services.

The Pennsylvania legislature has long made access to broadband a priority and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the legislative process. The Pennsylvania Senate recently advanced three bills to provide tools for delivering broadband services to rural communities: 

  • Senate Bill 835 (Langerholc, R-Cambria), would increase funding for broadband in underserved areas
  • Senate Bill 1118 (Pittman, R-Indiana) and House Bill 2438 (Owlett, R-Tioga) are identical bills to expand broadband access using existing infrastructure

Additionally, Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R- York) has introduced and the Senate adopted two resolutions, SR 47 and SR 48, directing various studies on broadband accessibility.

Additionally, Governor Wolf joined eleven other governors urging Congress to make critical investments in the expansion of broadband infrastructure.

For more information, contact Kate Slatt, HAP’s vice president, innovative payment and care delivery, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.