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Employers Increasingly Benefit from Telemedicine

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 6/24/2015
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Did you know that telemedicine can reduce the amount of time off taken by employees to see or take their child to a doctor for non-serious medical issues? This may come as a surprise, particularly if you don’t know the most common reason people have for going to the doctor. (You’ll have to keep reading to find out.)

Telemedicine generally refers to the practice of using telecommunications technologies (phone, Internet, etc.) to diagnose and treat patients, and it’s come a long way. Consider this:

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services describes telemedicine as a cost-effective alternative to providing medical care.
  • The American Medical Association says telemedicine is a key innovation that can maintain patient safety, improve access to health care and control costs.

Employers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of telemedicine. According to a recent survey, 22% of large U.S. employers currently offer telemedicine services to employees, and 37% expect to begin doing so in 2015.

So, how does telemedicine reduce employee absences? Research shows that a majority of doctor visits are unnecessary. A cough, for example, can often be treated safely and effectively with telemedicine. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common reason given for going to the doctor is…a cough.

Employers offering telemedicine services can also benefit from:

  • healthier employees
  • fewer employee sick days
  • increased productivity
  • measureable reduction in health care (insurance) costs

Telemedicine service plans are typically structured as discount card programs. These plans are not insurance and should not be considered a substitute for health insurance. Nevertheless, employers stand to benefit significantly by offering telemedicine services.

Given the variety and complexity of telemedicine service plans, employers should work with an experienced broker. The Human Equation’s insurance and risk management partner, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk, can help you:

  • evaluate options
  • find the best solution
  • obtain competitive pricing
  • implement and integrate a new plan into existing benefit programs

If you would like more information, please contact us.

If you would to speak with an insurance professional, please contact Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk.

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Categories: 2015, Human Resources

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