Cypress U | October 30th, 2018
Fundamentally, it’s far less expensive to call a doctor through a telemedicine service than it is to go to the doctor’s office for a traditional appointment. 70% of the reasons people go to the doctor is for smaller, less critical reasons. These cases are perfect for telemedicine – it’s cheaper and more convenient for the patient, and keeps costs down for the plan.
Telehealth has grown with the advent of smartphones. People are demanding quick, convenient healthcare services. Nobody wants to take half a day off of work, sit in a waiting room, only to see the doctor for 15 minutes. Instead they can call a doctor from home, at a time that’s most convenient for their busy life.
With 1.25 billion primary care visits taking place each ear, there is plenty of opportunity for telemedicine to grow. It’s estimated that 30% of all primary care visits could be handled with a telemedicine system – that’s 400 million visits per year.
How effective is the service? Patients have 24/7 access to doctors licensed and residing in the U.S. with no time limit for their call. On that call, the doctor can diagnose a condition and prescribe a medication. Every time a patient uses telemedicine, it saves the plan an average of $517. If a group covers 100 lives, the service pays for itself after only 25 phone appointments.
Like any program in self-funding, high member participation is key if a telemedicine program is to be effective. As a technology-based service, telemedicine has an advantage in reaching users through their smartphone. Utilizing their app platform, Teladoc can fulfill users’ demand for quick and reliable healthcare services.