Email Communication Between Doctors and Patients Helps to Reduce Costly Office Visits

Patients who are financially responsible for high out-of-pocket costs are significantly more likely to choose email and other online patient engagement methods over an expensive office visit to contact providers about their health concerns, according to a recent research study by a team that included Vicki Fung, PhD, from Mass General’s Mongan Institute for Health Policy. More than a third of patients who communicated with their providers by email said the activity reduced their phone contacts or in-person office visits, while a similar number said that keeping in email contact with providers helped to improve their health.

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