Do the Pros of Telehealth Still Outweigh the Cons in 2024?

    Posted by Yvette Quiwa

    The telehealth revolution that began with the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In 2024, despite various setbacks and industry changes, telehealth remains an integral part of modern healthcare.

    So, where do we stand today? Let's look at the pros and cons of telehealth to see if the benefits continue to outweigh the drawbacks. We'll also offer tips on successfully incorporating telehealth into your practice. To see how this works, sign up for a demo of our telehealth solution today.



    The Current State of Telehealth 

    The surge in telehealth adoption in 2020 has receded but still surpasses pre-pandemic levels. Epic Research reports that telehealth usage has fallen by about 25% from its peak during the pandemic. 

    Several major companies are experiencing challenges in maintaining their virtual care services. In April, UnitedHealthGroup announced it would be closing Optum Virtual Care. Walmart followed suit by shutting down 51 health centers and virtual care services due to reimbursement challenges and increasing costs.

    According to an article published on Wolters Kluwer, while the initial projections for telehealth growth were close to 60%, they have now been reduced to just under 23%. Despite the figures showing a decline in telehealth usage, experts still foresee the market reaching $149.7 billion by 2030. After all, innovation and technology are driving healthcare forward, and telehealth is a vital part of it.

    Still, many regulatory bodies maintain flexibilities introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will retain certain telehealth waivers until the end of 2024. 

    Various states are also implementing or extending telehealth regulations. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also allowed telemedicine flexibilities in prescribing controlled substances without prior in-person visits through 2024. 

    Moreover, the American Medical Association (AMA) anticipates that telehealth will continue to be an integral aspect of healthcare, with ongoing advocacy for permanent policy changes to support its integration into regular healthcare practice.

    Pros and Cons of Telehealth

    Understanding the pros and cons of telehealth for patients and providers helps us better understand its current state and possible future.


    1. Convenience and Efficiency

    Telehealth removes geographical barriers, allowing patients in remote or underserved areas to access healthcare services easily. With telehealth, patients can attend appointments from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for travel and waiting times.

    2. Continuity of Care

    Telehealth ensures continuous care by making it easier for patients to maintain regular appointments and follow-up visits. This continuity is crucial for managing chronic conditions, post-surgical care, and ongoing treatments.

    3. Cost-Effectiveness

    Both patients and providers save money with remote consultations. Patients reduce travel expenses and time off work, while providers can see more patients daily, optimizing their schedules and reducing overhead costs.

    4. Improved Patient Engagement

    Telehealth makes follow-up appointments, medication management, and chronic disease monitoring easier. Patients are more likely to participate in virtual appointments, leading to better health outcomes.

    5. HEDIS Support

    Telehealth platforms facilitate the seamless capture and reporting of data during virtual visits, which is essential for HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) measures. CMS recognizes telehealth encounters for many HEDIS measures, allowing these interactions to count towards performance metrics. Embracing telehealth not only improves patient outcomes but also enhances the overall performance and reputation of healthcare providers.


    1. Administrative Burden
    Telehealth platforms that lack integration with EHR can result in physician burnout. The rise in EHR workload underscores the need for more efficient technological solutions.

    Evidence shows that hybrid care has led to a 6% uptick in the amount of EHR work required from physicians. This added burden may contribute to physician burnout, stressing the importance of more streamlined processes and better integration between telehealth and in-person care. 

    2. Security and Privacy Concerns

    While telehealth platforms strive to be secure, the risk of data breaches and privacy issues remains a concern. According to research by The HIPAA Journal, a staggering 124 million health records were compromised in 725 hacking incidents in 2023.  

    3. Technological Barriers

    Despite advancements, many patients lack access to reliable internet and the modern or digital literacy to use telehealth effectively. Technical issues during consultations hinder effective communication and care delivery. This digital divide exacerbates health disparities.

    4. Concerns on Quality of Care 

    Telehealth's limitations in conducting physical examinations affect the quality of care. Certain conditions may be misdiagnosed or inadequately treated due to the inability to perform hands-on assessments. 

    6 Tips for Telehealth Success in 2024

    Now, let’s get back to the question: do the pros of telehealth still outweigh the cons in 2024?

    Considering the patient-centric and technology-driven direction of the healthcare system, the answer is YES. 

    Despite the challenges and the decline in usage, the future of the healthcare sector remains undeniably digital. The benefits of telehealth continue to outweigh these challenges as patients consistently seek convenient, accessible, and omnichannel healthcare options. Continuous improvements and thoughtful policy-making are essential for its future success. 

    Since virtual care is here to stay, healthcare providers must adopt the following strategies

    to maximize the advantages of telehealth while mitigating its disadvantages.

    1. Evaluate Suitability for Your Specialty

    Assess how telehealth fits into your specific medical specialty. Determine which services your clinic can deliver virtually and which require in-person visits.

    Mental health, infectious diseases, and chronic disease management are some specialties that benefit significantly from telehealth. These areas often require less physical examination and can effectively leverage remote monitoring and consultations.

    According to an Epic Research report, the highest telehealth adoption rates for the third quarter of 2023 were observed in the following:

    • Mental health (37%)
    • Infectious disease (11%)
    • Obstetrics and transplant (10%)

    2. Invest in Advanced Telehealth Technology

    Select telehealth platforms that integrate seamlessly with EHR systems. Connecting these systems streamlines information flow, allowing healthcare practitioners to view and update patient records in real time during virtual visits. This feature reduces administrative burden and enhances clinical decision-making.

    Telehealth is expected to grow and innovate in the near future. Integrating more advanced AI, using VR for immersive therapy sessions, and enhanced data analytics will continue to improve patient care. 

    Meditab's Televisit is fully integrated within IMS, delivering a comprehensive telemedicine solution. This advanced platform enables remote patient consultations while maintaining the efficiency of your clinical workflows. 

    3. Focus on Patient-Centered Design

    Ensure the telehealth platform has a clean, intuitive interface and straightforward navigation, offering ease of use for patients and healthcare providers. Features like easy login processes, straightforward appointment scheduling, virtual waiting rooms, clear instructions, and accessible help options contribute to higher user satisfaction. 

    4. Leverage Hybrid Care Models

    A 2023 survey conducted by Morning Consult with over 2,000 American adults following the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) revealed that only 6% favored virtual care, while 53% preferred in-person visits. The survey found hybrid care to be relatively popular among all age groups. 

    Integrate telehealth with traditional in-person visits to create a flexible, patient-centered care model. This hybrid approach can reduce the burden on healthcare facilities and cater to patient preferences. Invest in efficient EHR systems to manage the increased administrative workload associated with hybrid care. Automation and AI tools can reduce the time spent on paperwork and data entry.

    5. Enhance Data Privacy and Security

    As telehealth continues to grow, so will the emphasis on protecting patient data. Providers should consider telehealth platforms with more robust cybersecurity measures and compliance with stricter regulations. Regularly update software, use encrypted communication channels, and educate staff on data protection best practices.

    6. Adopt Remote Patient Care Monitoring

    Combine remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices with telehealth to continuously check on patients with chronic conditions. These devices track vital signs, glucose levels, heart rate, and other critical metrics. Data collected from RPM devices enables healthcare providers to detect changes in patient health early and intervene promptly. 

    Meditab’s partner, Clinii, offers a comprehensive remote patient monitoring system that seamlessly integrates with many medical home devices. All device data is securely transmitted to Meditab's IMS system, ensuring reliable and continuous patient care.

    Integrate Telehealth Seamlessly with Meditab’s IMS

    Telehealth remains a powerful tool for delivering accessible, cost-effective, patient-centered care. For healthcare providers looking to adopt this system efficiently, Meditab’s Intelligent Medical Software (IMS) offers an integrated telehealth capability. 

    Unlike third-party add-ons, you can launch remote visits directly from IMS or through IMSGo, the mobile EHR app integrated with IMS. Patients can join these visits using their mobile device or computer, making telehealth more convenient for both parties. 

    A telehealth module fully integrated with your EHR software empowers you to do more with the system you’re already using, streamlining virtual visits, enhancing patient engagement, and simplifying administrative tasks. 

    Extend your care from the four walls of your practice to the screens of your patients with a cohesive and efficient telehealth experience. Contact Meditab today to get started!