Advantages for Employers
Telemedicine services are very popular with employers. Medical costs are expected to continue to trend higher. Employers are implementing consumer driven healthcare plans (CDHPs), which increase out of pocket medical expenses for plan participants. Employers and employees are looking for ways to offset out of pocket costs. Telemedicine is a solution that is changing the way people access medical advice, diagnosis and prescriptions.
Telemedicine has become easier to deliver based on advances in communication technologies. The Affordable Care Act's (ACA) focus on efficient and cost effective care has given more value to this method of healthcare delivery. Telemedicine puts a subscriber (i.e., an employee) in touch with a U.S. board-certified doctor in their state to treat common symptoms like colds and flu, allergies, pink eye, and sinus infections. Telemedicine gives the patient direct access to a doctor anytime, even on weekends and holidays. Consultations include discussions about symptoms, treatment options and prescriptions. They happen by phone calls, emails or video calls. Telemedicine consultations are a supplement for non-emergency treatments and visits to primary care physicians. Telemedicine makes online healthcare, diagnosis and prescription services affordable.
Telemedicine services are an important healthcare cost containment tool as a part of group employee benefits. Telemedicine reduces office co-pays for employees and claim costs to the employer's group healthcare plan. A study with 17,000 telemedicine participants, revealed that hospital admissions dropped by 30% and doctor visits were reduced by 60% for a savings of 45% in unnecessary doctor and emergency room visits.
70% of doctor's office visits may be conducted by phones, tablets or computers. 50% of ER visits are non-emergencies. Telemedicine's savings in claim costs range from $300 per year for a single employee or more than $1,000 per year for a family of four.
- The American Medical Association (AMA)
Benefits for Employees
Telemedicine offers members quick access to doctors by phone, email or video call. There is no waiting for an appointment in a room full of other sick people, which occurs in urgent care centers, emergency rooms and or doctors' offices. 97% of patients are treated in their first call with an average response time of eight minutes using telemedicine. Employees receive medications at their preferred pharmacy. Often, telemedicine eliminates visits to a primary care doctor, urgent care center, or ER and the high costs associated with those visits.
Telemedicine service programs are designed to benefit everybody in companies and organizations. They can be offered as a voluntary benefit or packaged with group medical insurance coverage. Telemedicine provides direct access to affordable online healthcare, diagnoses and prescriptions for independent contractors, employees who are part time, seasonal and or who can't afford to pay for group benefit premiums.
Online doctor visits save time, are convenient and immediate. No time away from work and no long waits to see doctors.
Telemedicine services reduce unnecessary and costly urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and doctor office visits.
Telemedicine may be the difference between receiving care or not for people who travel, work in rural or live in rural or underserved cities.
Often, telemedicine patients save money because consult fees are lower than copays.