Telemedicine offerings as part of comprehensive healthcare plans grew over the last decade, as employers and advisors worked to keep healthcare costs down while meeting the varied and changing needs of employees. However, by 2018, only 2% of the employee population covered by telemedicine actually utilized the service.  The widespread under use of telemed offerings seemed like wasted healthcare dollars that could have been better utilized elsewhere.
The explosion of COVID-19 in the United States has changed the healthcare landscape as we know it - and telemedicine is no exception. There has been an unprecedented rise in telemedicine utilization throughout 2020. Innovu tracked a 2,100% increase in telemed use through May of 2020. While that number dipped recently as in-person visits rose over the summer, the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 and flu season fast approaching, employers should encourage employees to continue to use telemedicine services whenever possible.
With a lower cost per visit than traditional office visits and more comfort and safety for patients and providers alike, using telemedicine for common colds, ailments, dermatology, and therapy, can save employers and employees time and money.
Employees who use virtual visits have been shown to avoid higher cost alternatives, such as the emergency room. They also enjoy less time in waiting rooms and fewer copayments and out of pocket costs. For employers, this translates into less expensive claims and a reduction in the amount of time employees are away from work. Advisors should reinforce the need for employers to review their telemedicine utilization and create a plan to boost these services throughout the fall and winter.
With the right application, telemedicine can keep employees and their dependents both safe and healthy while saving companies valuable dollars…. a clear win/win in these uncertain times.
Learn how Innovu can help advisors and employers save healthcare costs by performing a detailed review of their telemedicine usage. Visit www.innovu.com for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.