Telehealth – Freakonomics

Thanks to the pandemic, the telehealth revolution we’ve been promised for decades has finally arrived. Will it stick? Will it cut costs — and improve outcomes? We ring up two doctors and, of course, an economist to find out.

ELLIMOOTTIL: Up until March 2020, less than 1 percent of Medicare patients have ever used a telehealth service.

ELLIMOOTTIL: We’re seeing patients from all over the state who sometimes travel four hours just to have a 15-minute consultation about their kidney stone. And to be honest, I probably knew the answer about how I was going to manage that patient when I looked at their C.T. scan.

CUTLER: It is amazing. We went from essentially no visits for medical care being telehealth to now between 10 and 15 percent of visits for medical care are telehealth. And we did it virtually overnight.

The Doctor Will Zoom You Now (Ep. 423)