Telemedicine and Today’s Savvy, Cost-Conscious Patient

 

feb-6-blog

The future of healthcare and healthcare coverage is surrounded by speculation. As costs continue to rise 1 and changes to legislation remain in the air 2, millions of Americans may soon be making changes to how they manage their healthcare choices. While the healthcare industry has historically been reluctant to latch on to alternatives to costly care, the tide seems to be turning 3. One of those alternatives is harnessing the power of the digital to make healthcare more accessible and less costly: telemedicine.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is set to “revolutionize the existing traditional healthcare processes”4. The American Telemedicine Association notes that telemedicine covers the broad concept of remote healthcare and will reinvent healthcare via functions such as5 :

  • Patient consultations via video conferencing
  • Transmission of still images
  • E-health including patient portals
  • Remote monitoring of vital signs
  • Continuing medical education
  • Consumer-focused wireless applications
  • Nursing call centers

How can telemedicine benefit your clients?

It can help to lower costs. 

Healthcare prices rose by almost 20%6 from November 2010 to November 2016 due to increased costs of hospital services, health insurance, and prescription drugs. Telemedicine can help to lower costs7 via the use of remote analysis services that allow providers to work as a pooled resource. Providers can also reduce system costs by leaning on technology for digital consultations and by relying on remote technologies to move patients from inpatient to outpatient care.

It can improve access.

Telemedicine isn’t the new innovation on the block; it’s been providing access to healthcare for over 40 years8. The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center reports that it increases access9 to remotely located patients who need clinical services as well as remotely located hospitals, allowing them to provide emergency and intensive care services.

It can help manage consumer demand.

Telemedicine meets patients where they are. Providers can connect with patients via phone, video, smartphone, or computer, reducing travel time, anxiety, and time away from family and responsibilities.  But demand for personal attention in the comfort of one’s home isn’t the only driving force igniting the popularity of telemedicine. The rising number of patients4 who manage chronic illnesses are also looking for consultation and monitoring opportunities in consideration of their lifestyles and needs.

Do you want to learn more about offering products with telemedicine benefits to your clients?

References

1 Gillespie, Patrick. “Health care costs rise by most in 32 years.” September 2016. http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/16/news/economy/health-care-costs-rise-most-in-32years/

2 Bryan, Bob. “This is what could happen if Obamacare is repealed.” January 2017. http://www.businessinsider.com/obamacare-repeal-replace-effects-2017-1

3 Lemay, Katy. “Will grandma want a robot seal?” January 2017. http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/01/technology-healthcare-advances-for-the-elderly-000268

4 Transparency Market Research. “Telemedicine to Grow as the New Face of Global Healthcare.” January 2017.  http://www.medgadget.com/2017/01/telemedicine-to-grow-as-the-new-face-of-global-healthcare.html

5 American Telemedicine Association. “The Ultimate  Frontier for Superior Healthcare Delivery.” http://www.americantelemed.org/about/about-telemedicine

6 Taylor, Susan. “What Will Cost More – and Less – in 2017?” January 2017. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2017-01-05/what-will-cost-more-and-less-in-2017

7 Deschenes, Steff. “5 ways telemedicine is driving down healthcare.” July 2012. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/5-ways-telemedicine-driving-down-healthcare-costs

8 Robert, Ryan. “Telemedicine poised for exponential growth.” September 2016. http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/09/27/telemedicine-poised-for-exponential-growth.html

9 California Telehealth Resource Center. “Why are Telemedicine and Telehealth so Important in Our Healthcare System?” http://www.caltrc.org/telehealth/why-are-telemedicine-and-telehealth-so-important-in-our-healthcare-system/

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

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