As an ever-growing industry, the field of healthcare continues to improve and expand through modern technology. One of the latest trends to emerge in this industry is telemedicine, and with its numerous advantages, employers are beginning to take notice.
Telemedicine is the use of electronic communication for convenient transfer of information between doctors and patients or even between physicians. Through this, employees can consult with doctors and providers of immediate care over the phone or online. Convenience, however, is just one of the many benefits it has for employers.
With medical costs expected to go nowhere but up, employers are looking for more ways to reduce expenses while maintaining the quality of care. You’d be surprised to learn that 70 percent of visits to doctor’s offices can be handled over the phone, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). It only makes sense for employers to embrace the concept of telemedicine. According to a study, telemedicine participants experienced a 30 percent drop in admissions and 60 percent in unnecessary doctor and emergency room visits.
The AMA also puts potential savings just by implementing telemedicine in your company at $300 per year for each employee. If that employee has dependents or a member of a family of four, you can save up at least $1,000 per year as well.
Employers with more than 50 full time equivalent employees are now required to provide healthcare coverage to their workers. Failure to do so may end up with you and your company getting slapped with a hefty tax penalty. By giving employees convenient access to healthcare from a trusted urgent care center, you are fulfilling one of your biggest responsibilities. Either way, it is in your best interest to keep your workers healthy and happy.
By logic, the less your employees have to go to the doctor, the less you are likely to suffer losses due to absenteeism. Telemedicine is far less time-consuming particularly if an employee’s illness is non-life threatening. It can also be a better means to access healthcare for patients with chronic illnesses or potentially debilitating conditions who need constant management and self-care. This way, employers can reduce lost work time and maintain productivity of their employees.
While the implementation of telemedicine in workplaces is not yet widespread, it is expected to pick up in popularity as time goes on. Right now, 34 percent of large employers are expected to begin offering telemedicine sometime between this year and 2017. Now is the best time to follow the trend.
The Importance of Occupational Health Surveillance, LinkedIn
Employers Eye Potential Savings Through Telemedicine, Society for Human Resource Management