Prior to the pandemic, most patients opted for in-person doctor’s visits over telehealth options. With the onset of a contagious airborne virus, telehealth options grew dramatically. New, easy-to-use options became available for nearly all health insurance providers. With the large influx of telehealth appointments becoming the new normal, what does that mean for insurance and healthcare costs?
Telehealth options have quite a few financial benefits to healthcare providers and patients. Virtual visits help to increase patient retention, streamline time on task, improve appointment compliance, lower overhead costs, and lower in-person liability. As a healthcare professional, telehealth serves as a great option to provide care to your patients. It saves you the additional time and cost an in-person visit would take.
How does telehealth help patient costs?
Telehealth services can help decrease transportation costs for patients. Research says that if the usage becomes more popular, many transportation costs could decrease drastically.
Emergency rooms could reduce about 850,000 transports between emergency departments, which would save up to $537 million per year.
Nursing home transports to emergency rooms could save up to $327 million per year. Within the nursing home, the cost of transports to in-person physician appointments could be reduced by 6.87 million transports, saving up to $479 million per year.
Correctional facilities could reduce up to 40,000 transports to emergency rooms, saving up to $60.3 million per year. They could reduce in-person physician appointment transports by 543,000 and saving $210 million per year!
Needless to say, telehealth can provide patients and providers a great deal of savings.
While there are many benefits of implementing the usage of telehealth services, there are a few challenges.
Telemedicine cannot provide care to all patients, there are many instances where a patient requires more care within the examination that cannot be done virtually. For example, broken bones, chronic diseases, and blood testing cannot be done virtually. However, the follow-up appointments may be able to be performed virtually.
There are also concerns surrounding privacy protection for patients. With cybersecurity breaches at a high since the start of the pandemic, it’s something patients need to be aware of. However, Zoom has done a lot to ensure HIPAA compliance so your health information remains secure. Most of the privacy concerns have been resolved as telehealth services have become widespread.
At SBMA, you get the complete solution to your health care needs. Ourvirtual health and telemedicine services offer you24/7 access to your doctor, with no cost to you! You have the ability to speak to a licensed physician when and where you need by phone or video.