SOURCE: CloudVisit Telemedicine

CloudVisit Telemedicine

December 04, 2014 15:19 ET

Big US Companies Set for Big Savings When Offering Telemedicine Services to Employees Through Health Insurance Plans

COLD SPRING, NY--(Marketwired - Dec 4, 2014) -  Greater attention is being paid to the upswing in patient adoption of telemedicine services offered by medical providers and covered by employers' insurance. Today, 22 percent of large U.S. companies (1,000 employees or more) provide access to telehealth programs to those in their employ.

According to a new study by Towers Watson, a global professional services firm, big companies see the value of providing lower-cost telemedicine alternatives to their workforce in lieu of more expensive in-office consults and/or in-hospital, emergency room visits. Making that accommodation might save U.S. companies approximately $6 billion per year. By the end of 2015, Towers Watson expects the percentage of big firms offering employees telehealth programs to be 37%, a 68% increase over 2014.

"One key force pushing this phenomenon forward is new state laws that increase the ability of health care providers and their patients to use telehealth services rather than more expensive in-office treatment," says Daniel Gilbert, president and CEO of CloudVisit Telemedicine. "Medicaid agencies have put effort into creating new ways to incorporate telemedicine into the agencies' payment and delivery reforms."

Forty-seven state Medicaid agencies now provide at least some coverage for telehealth services. In addition, in the last three years, the number of states that have mandated private insurers to reimburse policy holders for telemedicine services at a rate comparable to in-office services has doubled. 

Although telemedicine has begun disrupting the status quo when it comes to the cost of healthcare delivery, and a number of states have enacted excellent telemedicine policies, those reforms have yet to reach their full potential. It is important to recognize that achieving a savings like $6 billion does require a shift in the way we view healthcare including patient and physician mindsets, health plan willingness to integrate and reimburse such services, and regulatory support in all states.

Right now, states' failure to enforce telehealth regulations, plus limited awareness or understanding of the policies on the provider side has created a lag in participation. Some states have put limited scope policies in place or otherwise stymied providers and their patients from attaining telemedicine services' complete benefits.

"CloudVisit can help providers get there," says Gilbert. "Our state-of-the-art, innovative, fully integrated mobile health solutions for remote patient package enables significant savings in travel expenses and valuable time for both patients and providers."

To learn more about how you can generate greater income for your practice, while serving more patients cost-effectively, visit us at http://www.cloudvisittm.com or call 888-503-3009.

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