Have you ever wondered: Will telemedicine save my small Colorado business money? Read on to explore that question further!
Doctors first started to use telemedicine in the 1950s. Certain hospitals used a telephone line to share images of patients. At that time, the purpose of telemedicine was to connect patients with specialists living outside their areas.
Today, thanks to smartphones, telecommunications apps, and the Internet, it’s never been so easy to share patient information. The system can transfer patient notes and images in seconds. For patients who want speedy diagnosis and treatment, this is great news. They can receive better health care without having to travel.
The $64,000 question is will telemedicine save money for small businesses in Colorado, as well as making things easier for employee patients?
Employees Use Telemedicine to Save Money
It’s easy to see why telemedicine is getting more attention from business owners these days. The cost of medical bills rises all the time in Colorado, and costs are only going to get higher. As a result, more employers are implementing CDHPs (consumer directed healthplans).
CDHP”s increase the out-of-pocket costs for those who participate in the plan. With more CDHPs in use, employees and employers alike are looking for ways to counteract those extra costs.
One common solution that allows employers to offset the additional expense is telemedicine. Employers can add telemedicine benefits to their plans and lower the costs of health care. Meanwhile, employees enjoy better satisfaction and take less time off work because of an illness.
How Does Telemedicine Save Money?
Telemedicine efficiently and conveniently puts the employees in touch with U.S. board-certified physicians in Colorado. These physicians can conveniently treat common medical problems, such as infections, allergies, and the flu. Patients benefit from access to a doctor 24/7 via their telephones, computers, or mobile devices.
Consultations take place via e-mail, phone calls, or even online video calls. Patients discuss their symptoms with their doctors and receive different treatment options or prescriptions as necessary. A telemedicine consultation provides an ideal supplementary addition for nonemergency care. Most importantly, telemedicine saves money for employer and employee health care.
How Does Telemedicine Reduce Costs for Employers?
When employers include telemedicine in their group employee benefits portfolio, they can contain their health-care expenses. Telemedicine saves money by reducing the cost of office copays for workers and reducing claim costs to the health-care plan of the employer.
A study conducted into telemedicine participants showed that this form of treatment caused hospital admissions to drop by 30 percent. The same study also revealed that the number of doctor visits was down by 60 percent. Fewer hospital and doctor visits can translate to lower cost for health insurance premiums.
The AMA (American Medical Association) claims that more than half of all visits to the ER aren’t emergencies, meaning that access to telemedicine can reduce claim costs significantly. Telemedicine is capable of reducing the cost of Colorado healthcare by more than a quarter for those responsible for paying because doctors provide care in a cheaper setting with no specialist charges or facility costs.
Reductions start at around $300 annually for one employee and go up to more than $1,000 annually for families. For small Colorado business owners, this is great news. Budgets are tight, so finding ways to reduce the cost of claims and, thus, the cost of premiums is vital.
The Other Benefits of Telemedicine for Small Business Owners
There is another major benefit to using telemedicine to save money when you run a small business. Telemedicine reduces the length of time it takes for patients to see a physician, meaning that employees can get immediate assistance and treatment. They won’t need to take extra time away from the workplace to visit a doctor.
With speedier care, employees will need less sick time. They’ll also be able to return to work more rapidly, with a reduced chance of going back into the hospital.
Telemedicine saves money by reducing the number of rehospitalization incidents significantly. As a result, your workers will spend more time in the workplace. They will also be healthier and more productive and help to keep your business running smoothly. You’ll reap the benefits of better employee attendance in the form of higher profits.
Adding Telemedicine to Your Employee Health Coverage
If you’re looking for a money-saving solution for your Colorado small business, telemedicine could be ideal. Telemedicine is an option that’s now available and accepted by insurance companies.
Implementing a telemedicine program begins with getting employees to buy-in to the idea of replacing physical doctor visits with online interaction with health care professions. You will need help with employee education and training programs. Colorado employers should work with local health insurance brokers with proven track records of helping small businesses enjoy the cost savings of telemedicine.