After months of negotiations, a bipartisan infrastructure bill (that is 2,702 pages long!) has passed the U.S. Senate and will likely pass the U.S. House of Representatives this year. Why would a massive infrastructure bill be of interest to Health Coaches, you ask? This bill appropriates $500 billion in new infrastructure spending, $65 billion of which will go toward increasing broadband infrastructure as well as improving Internet access, affordability, and accessibility across the U.S.
An increase in equitable access to high-speed Internet means more opportunities for Health Coaches
With increased ability to access and utilize high-speed Internet throughout the country, Health Coaches who have built telehealth practices not only can have more flexibility in where they coach, but there will also be opportunities for Health Coaches to connect with millions more potential clients, since their clients will now have access to high-speed Internet. These potential opportunities are significant for Health Coaches, clients, and the whole Health Coach industry!
The trends in telehealth and telemedicine are clear, and the future will include a significant number of these kinds of services.
IIN has looked into the data and found that prior to the pandemic, telemedicine and telehealth services were underutilized, with most virtual visits focused on monitoring of symptoms and conditions as opposed to dedicated time spent speaking with a patient about their health concerns.
By April 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic started, telehealth services grew by more than 4,000%. During lockdown, telehealth services became a necessity, and as more people used these services, it started to become clear that these practices were here to stay. Both practitioners and users really enjoy the experience, with a recent survey finding that 40% of consumers will continue to use telehealth going forward, up from 11% prior to the pandemic.
On the provider side, 58% of physicians continue to view telehealth more favorably now than they did before the COVID-19 crisis. Another survey found that in March 2020, fewer than 20% had experienced a telehealth appointment; by March 2021, this number had skyrocketed to 61%.
Because of increased consumer demand, providers offering more services online, and technology catching up to the times, state and the federal governments accommodated almost $250 billion in healthcare spending that’s dedicated to telehealth and virtual practices.
Why virtual health coaching benefits both coach and client
Health Coaches thinking about offering virtual coaching services have even more reason now to go ahead and build out that beyond valuable offering! At IIN, we love talking about how health coaching is the perfect profession for ultimate work-life balance, but it’s also important to shed light on the important work Health Coaches do to create more flexibility in their clients’ lives, too.
Allowing clients to reap the benefits of health coaching virtually allows them to more easily take care of their health ‒ especially for those who may face barriers to healthcare such as lack of transportation or a lack of affordable care where they live. Health Coaches have the incredible opportunity to bring their services to people who may otherwise not have access, which underscores the value that Health Coaches bring, to not just their immediate communities but also the whole world, to improve health and happiness.