We are seeing more employers turning to telemedicine than ever before. There are many reasons.
- There is a national shortage of physicians
- There are more people getting insured, exacerbating the shortage even more
- Employers are shifting more cost to their employees through HDHP plans. Telemedicine provides a lower cost alternative for common primary care services.
- Companies are focused on "managing risk" and using telemedicine as a great alternative to expensive urgent care and ERs.
Telemedicine is simply an affordable and convenient alternative to an ER, urgent care or PCP visit and in many cases, allows access to care 24/7--anytime from anywhere.
“Over the next 5 years…nearly half of employers expect a significant transformative change. More specifically, 49% expect more healthcare transparency and 45% expect to see new access points for healthcare delivery such as telemedicine..." Health Care Changes Ahead Survey Report, Towers Watson, October 2012.
"The strategy that seems poised to become mainstream the most quickly is telemedicine..." Mercer national Survey of Employer Sponsored Healthcare Plans, 2012.
As we approach 2015, telemedicine will be one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the healthcare system and should be considered an element of every company's benefit plan.