How many of your employees have to take several hours off from work to go see a doctor about a sinus infection, a stomach ache or a skin rash? What is that lost time and lost production costing your company?
What used to be a thing of the future is now a medically accredited reality. It’s called “telemedicine” and it’s a way to see a doctor face to face…all while you’re at work, at home or at school!
In an effort to lower healthcare costs and absentee rates while increasing employee satisfaction, more and more companies are adding a telemedicine benefit. One company that provides these services, US Tele-Medicine, will actually install kiosks at your work site free of charge. These kiosks have a 23” monitor and self-testing equipment for blood pressure, temperature, oxygen, etc. The employee logs in using a swipe card and a physician comes online to help them with their medical issue.
US Tele-Medicine says they can help 66 percent of patients without having to send them to the emergency room or primary care doctor. One of the Affordable Care Act’s new requirements is that doctors begin using Electronic Medical Records. They enter patient medical history and vitals into an electronic system that can be accessed by doctors all over the world. The telemedicine doctors can access patient history and see medication history and tests that have been completed and use that information to help with the patient’s complaint.
The employer pays a nominal monthly capitation fee per member and their employees and their families have access to providers 24/7 without having to leave work or their home! The patient will incur a small copay, but the overall cost is so much lower than if someone went to a doctor’s office because of overhead and administrative costs.
5 Benefits to Using Telemedicine:
1) It cuts down the time a patient needs to go see a doctor, especially in rural areas.
2) You get immediate help from a physician – no filling out forms and waiting in a doctor’s office surrounded by other sick people.
3) It is reported that incidents of re-hospitalization and emergency room visits are reduced by significant numbers.
4) Telemedicine can reduce health care costs by up to 27% for those who pay for medical care. It can do so because it provides care in a less expensive setting: the patient’s home or office. There are no facility charges, emergency room specialist charges, or expensive office visits.
5) Telemedicine is available now in the USA and worldwide. It is an accepted and respected modality recognized by Medicare, Medicaid, and now Wellpoint, a major private insurer.
Benefit Advocates strives to bring new ideas to our clients and readers. Some people will have their doubts and concerns about telemedicine, so it may not be right for you or your employees. However, it is a quickly growing method of delivering healthcare.
For more information about telemedicine, visit http://www.americantelemed.org