It’s all over the industry news that telehealth is on the rise within healthcare systems. The reasons are plain – telehealth technology has proven over and over again to reduce hospital readmissions for chronic care patients, lower overall healthcare costs, and improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Now, it seems, employers are looking to reap the benefits of telehealth as well.
New reports show that telehealth use is expected to rise dramatically within the business world in the next year. According to a recent survey by the National Business Group on Health, 48% of employers plan to provide telehealth services in states that have reimbursement in 2015. Of these employers, one-third plan to solely offer telehealth and 15% plan to couple the services with certain incentives and penalties. The survey consisted of 136 respondents who have nearly 7.5 million employees nationwide.
Similarly, in August, Towers Watson forecast that the number of employers planning to provide telemedicine as an option to employees would rise to 68% by 2015. Currently, more than 20% of larger employers already offer telemedicine services in efforts to avoid primary care visits and reduce costly emergency room care among employees. The survey found that even more providers, 34%, plan to offer telemedicine before 2017.
According to Towers Watson senior consultant, Dr. Allan Khoury, “With both insurance companies and employers encouraging its use, telemedicine is going to have a growing role in the spectrum of healthcare service delivery. We’re also likely to see that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Telemedicine is just one piece of a broader telehealth spectrum that includes video, apps, kiosks, virtual visits, wearable devices and other advancements.”
What This Means for Your Company
With more people than ever willing to connect with clinicians via telehealth and telemedicine and more consumers taking personal accountability for their own health and wellness, access to telehealth is a benefit that will likely attract many employees in the very near future. If telehealth is not something that your company currently offers or plans to offer in the coming years, you may very well miss out on quality employees who understand the benefits of telehealth and are looking for it as a part of their employment package.
If you are one of the nearly 50% of employers who do plan to provide telehealth to employees, Advanced TeleHealth Solutions can help. We can work with your organization to customize a telehealth program that will meet the needs of your employees, enhance your corporate wellness program, and improve the health and productivity of your workforce while reducing healthcare costs with effective telemedicine solutions.
Contact our team and learn how Advanced TeleHealth Solutions can make implementing telehealth easy and cost-effective for your company.