Jul 14, 2020 - Health

Oscar Health CEO: Virtual health helped decrease ER overcrowding from COVID

Oscar Health CEO Mario Schlosser

Photo credit: Axios screenshot

Patients who used telehealth during the pandemic contributed to a decrease in emergency room visits by 40% nationwide, and by 80% among those 14 years old and younger, Mario Schlosser, co-founder and CEO of Oscar Health, said Tuesday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: The decrease in ER visits showed many patients were regularly using telehealth services for non-emergencies. Virtual health care visits could become a default for check-ups, prescription refills and behavioral health even after the pandemic subsides, Schlosser added.

What he's saying: "I fully expect the future of the health care system and the very near future to remain at a larger degree virtual than it’s been the case in past."

Yes, but: 50% of Oscar Health's insurance claims disappeared during the pandemic, Schlosser said. Maternity visits and surgeries have been difficult to perform.

  • "We’ve got to come back at making sure the outcomes remain, the quality remains, the people come back to the physicians in person to make sure their chronic conditions get managed and so-on."

Watch the Axios event here

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