3 Reasons Telemedicine Can Be Implemented Year-round

January 20, 2017

First Stop Health

In the flurry of benefits planning, open enrollment and the start of a new benefit year, some potential new benefits like telemedicine might not have made it to the top of the to-do list. While telemedicine addresses a modest portion of a company’s benefits spend, it can pack a big punch with employeesand be one of those few benefits that has a measurable positive ROI if implemented correctly.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until the next enrollment cycle to add a high-utilization telemedicine benefit plan. Here are our clients’ top three reasons for adding telemedicine outside of their plan renewal period—and in some cases, even replacing an existing embedded telemedicine solution within their health plan.

You Don’t Need to Budget For It

Telemedicine should be a benefit that saves more money than it costs. When telemedicine is properly implemented, utilization should be high enough to more than pay for itself. In fact, at First Stop Health, our average ROI is over 60%! For self-funded employers, telemedicine should be paid for out of the claims expense saved from employees using their telemedicine benefit instead of going to costly ER, Urgent Care, or PCP visits.

For a company with 1,000 employees, a telemedicine benefit can save a self-funded employer over $70,000 in diverted healthcare claims annually. Some benefits that take years to generate potential savings but with telemedicine, savings from diverted healthcare claims begin as soon as the first call to First Stop Health is made.

Implementation Is Easy

Telemedicine companies should provide an implementation plan that includes a turnkey onboarding process. With First Stop Health, HR departments are not responsible for generating any communications to their employees (or picking them from a library).  A year-long engagement campaign is customized, co-branded, and distributed directly to employees by First Stop Health with department approval.

A census of employees and their family members who are eligible to use the service is the only thing needed to put employees in touch with a doctor when they need one. Employees don’t need to pre-register or download anything to use the service.  

Your Employees Will Love It

What we hear most from our clients and their employees is how much they love having access to 24/7 healthcare. It is easy to use, free to the employee, and saves them time, money, and hassle when they are sick. Telemedicine companies that focus on serving patients and ensuring their experience is seamless, quick, and above expectations will succeed in generating evangelists for telemedicine within their organization. But high utilization is required to capitalize on the viral nature of good experiences.

If you didn’t get a chance to incorporate telemedicine into your benefits package during open enrollment, or if you chose the embedded plan, it’s not too late to implement it for 2017. In fact, it is often easier to onboard and educate employees without the noise of open enrollment.  

Originally published Jan 20, 2017 3:00:00 PM.