By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

One development that has emerged from the pandemic has been the shift from in-person care to virtual care, including telehealth appointments via voice, chat or video. This change was rapid, and telehealth usage is expected to increase. But has marketing around this development kept pace?

When it became clear that in-person doctor appointments were no longer safe, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) changed reimbursement regulations to cover telehealth appointments—rules that were planned to provide the alternative for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

The surge in telehealth usage and its successful adoption led CMS Administrator Seema Verma to say “I can’t imagine going back” on these rules. As a result, Congress has asked the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS to provide a plan for permanent changes to telehealth reimbursement.

A recent Harvard Business Review article noted how one healthcare system is thinking about the telehealth challenge from a marketing perspective. How do you shift customer perception about telehealth from “this provider doesn’t think my problem is important since they are seeing me via telehealth,” to “this provider cares about me and therefore is seeing me via telehealth”?

Amid this rapid change in how care is delivered, healthcare marketers need to be ready to tell the story in a whole new way. What was less valued four months ago may now be the preferred path moving forward, much like telehealth.

Takeaway: Is your content fresh and aligned with how you are meeting customer needs? Is your messaging evolving at the same speed as changes in delivery?

(Image: Getty Images)

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