Most Parents Want to Email Doctors, But Not So Many Want to Pay
SOURCE: Psych Central ~ October 22, 2013
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
A new national survey finds that most parents want online options from kids’ health care providers, but half say it should be free, according to a new University of Michigan Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
In the poll, 77 percent of parents said they would be likely to seek email advice for their children’s minor illness if that service were available. Only 6 percent of parents said they could currently get that email advice from their child’s health care provider.
Parents in the poll reported a range of co-pays charged for office visits, from nothing to $30 per visit.
But about half of those polled felt any charge for an email consultation should be less than that of an office visit. And 48 percent of those polled felt an online consultation should be free.
The poll surveyed 1,420 parents with a child aged 0 to 17 years old.
“Most parents know it can be inconvenient to schedule and get to an office visit for a sick child. An email consultation would prevent the hassles of scheduling and allow sick children to remain at home. Email also could be available after hours when their caregiver’s office is closed, said Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H.
“But many health care providers don’t have co-pays established for this kind of consultation, so we decided to ask parents what they think.”