The health crisis has changed everything. Following the epidemic, there has been spectacular growth in the use of teleconsultation and practices have since changed significantly. But how is this new practice evolving? Has teleconsultation really become part of the French way of life?
A NEW TREND?
The French health insurance fund (Assurance Maladie) estimates that at the height of the crisis, the average weekly number of teleconsultations would have exceeded the symbolic milestone of one million whereas it barely exceeded a few thousand a week before the lockdown measures of March 2020. Between March and April 2020, 5.5 million teleconsultations would have been reimbursed.
The results of the Cegedim Insurance Solutions and Argus de l'Assurance survey are along the same lines: teleconsultation has become commonplace for the French. In 2020, the number of French people who used it trebled, up to 26% of the population. Even though only 8% had tried it before the crisis. Among millennials, the trend is particularly strong as 34% of them say they have already had a consultation via a screen. It is an abrupt paradigm shift which should be permanent.
A trend confirmed by the Assurance Maladie which asserts that patients over the age of 70 - who were much less likely to use teleconsultation before lockdown (8% of procedures billed) - became acquainted with this system during lockdown (20% of procedures billed). A trend that seems to be taking hold since the oldest patients, even though they are still proportionally fewer than the youngest, now make up 19% of patients who use teleconsultation.
The main booking methods
The other lesson learnt from this survey concerns booking methods. Unsurprisingly, digital technology is the winner by far with 57% of bookings made on the Internet, mostly via websites and 36% via the recommendation of a doctor or health professional. Way behind, top-up health insurance providers represent only 9% of bookings.
In terms of types of care, teleconsultation does not just apply to general practitioners. Although this type of consultation remains in the majority, 46% of French people who have had teleconsultations have already made an appointment with a specialist doctor. A craze for teleconsultation undoubtedly boosted by the convenience of Internet bookings and the ergonomics of existing platforms. In fact, 87% of French people who have had teleconsultations feel that making an appointment is easy or very easy.
Want to learn more about teleconsultation? We have devoted a white paper to finding out what the French really think. By downloading it, you will find the detailed results of our survey carried out with L’Argus de l'assurance among a panel of 1,000 policyholders.
If you are interested in this topic, the Cegedim Insurance Solutions team is at your disposal to answer to all your questions.