Prescription bottles “Previously avoided medical costs are fervently bouncing back in 2021, so incentivizing members to choose telehealth where clinically appropriate may be a way to balance this cost wave,” says Kelly Chillingworth. (Photo: Shutterstock)

During the pandemic, telehealth service quickly ascended into the spotlight, offering consumers a safer (and more convenient) way to interact with their doctors and other health care providers. This change in consumer behavior and utilization has had a ripple effect throughout the health care sector, most notably the sudden surge in development of new digital health services.

One area of impact that employers and insurance providers might not have seen coming: prescription drug use. For many consumers, the ease of a telehealth visit meant an increased likelihood of seeking care (potentially resulting in a prescription being issued), as well as renewals of and better adherence to previously prescribed medications.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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