With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many employees indoors, telemedicine has emerged as a convenient for employers to expand access to quality healthcare for their workforce. In 2018, a survey by the Business Group on Health revealed that only 52% of employers believed in virtual care as the future of healthcare delivery. Today, the number surpasses 80%.
Telemedicine describes the practice of allowing physicians to provide healthcare services to their patients remotely and in real time. Technology advancements in videoconferencing and audio calls have made this an increasingly viable option for employees as opposed to travelling multiple miles to their local primary care clinic. In this blog, we’ll discuss all the reasons employers should be looking towards telemedicine as a means for expanding healthcare access in 2021 and beyond.
Alternative Reimbursement: You Can’t Pay Less For Healthcare Unless You Pay Less For Healthcare
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM ET
The only way to pay LESS for healthcare is to pay LESS for healthcare. This simple statement sounds obvious but is ignored by most employers as reflected in their health benefits. For years, we have depended on the carriers to negotiate the price we pay for healthcare, having a more direct and transparent reimbursement (provider compensation model) is the key to immediately lowering your health benefits cost.
In a post-COVID world, even zero change in employees’ healthcare costs will likely still result in them spending a greater percentage of their income on healthcare. Why? Most household incomes are down so the focus shouldn’t be on maintaining the status quo, but on fighting to reduce overall costs and expenditures.
Reducing Spread of Infectious Illnesses
It’s no secret that clinic waiting rooms are full of potentially sick patients. Additionally, these rooms are sanitized in before open and after close, but rarely in between. Telemedicine provides the best option for employees looking to avoid spreading illness, and potentially getting ill, at their primary care physician’s office.
Less Time Spent Acquiring Care
Traditionally, when employees travel for healthcare, these trips can often take up to an hour round trip. Seeking care from licensed specialists could potentially double this time spent on the road. Telemedicine allows you to leverage the expertise of your primary care physician from the comfort of your own home. Instead of driving to a clinic, then waiting for your appointment, employees are able to consult with a specialist while reducing the time spent on mundane tasks.
With telemedicine being so easy and convenient to use for employees, studies show that these individuals are increasingly seeking access to care – especially those who were hesitant to access traditional means of medical care. COVID-19 has forced many to delay regular treatment, however, nearly 1 in 3 patients expect to increase their care utilization post pandemic. Providing virtual care options will assist employees in achieving these health goals.
Telemedicine provides an alternative way for employers to provide quality care for their employees. Applications such as AkosMD and other technology allow patients to receive care from the palm of their hands, in real time. Employers of all sizes should seriously consider virtual care as a method for expanding access to care.