3 Reasons Why Every Company Should Offer Telemedicine
August 20, 2021
First Stop Health
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, making virtual care services an essential piece in every employer’s benefits package.
Telemedicine allows employees to access a licensed, board-certified doctor remotely via phone or video. COVID-19 has made this employee benefit one that’s expected by today’s workforce. When executed correctly, telemedicine delivers healthcare savings and high employee satisfaction. It can also be useful in employee retention and the hiring process.
Here are three primary benefits to telemedicine, and why every employer should offer it.
Keep Employees Well
Maintaining employee health is still a top priority as emerging data about the Delta variant suggests increased transmissibility, even in vaccinated individuals. In year 2 of the global pandemic, telemedicine is still vital to keep employees healthy.
By making use of this simple and convenient virtual care option, employees can avoid contagions in busy waiting rooms, feel better faster – and even address their own mental health concerns.
Telemedicine not only greatly benefits employees, but also the employer by saving money in diverted healthcare claims.
How? By helping employees avoid going to urgent care or the ER for non-emergency conditions, and instead connect with a doctor from their home or office for little or no cost to them.
In fact, Americans waste $30 billion (about $92 per person in the U.S.) a year going to the emergency room for conditions that should be treated elsewhere, and two-thirds of ER visits are avoidable.
By using telemedicine, employees avoid expensive copayments, which can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars at the ER. Especially for employees on high deductible health plans (HDHPs), this benefit can put real dollars back into their pockets.
The savings from these avoided visits translate into even larger savings for employers, especially those that are self-insured, that see a reduction in overall healthcare claims. In fact, those healthcare savings should meet or exceed the cost of the telemedicine service if the program is well implemented.
Offer a Competitive Benefits Package
Between back-to-the-office and vaccine talk, employers are increasingly butting heads with employees – who would rather remain remote. One survey, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential, polled 2,000 adults and found that 87% of American workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic would prefer to continue working remotely at least one day a week (post-pandemic). With more opportunities to work remotely anywhere in the world, employers are focused on retaining their top talent.
A great employee benefits package helps employers set themselves apart. Companies that offer telemedicine with free access to care and a convenient experience can stand out in the job market – because this benefit shows they care for their employees. Encouraging employees to use virtual care gives them time back and can be viewed as an employee retention strategy for employers.
Employers must ensure they have a telemedicine solution to achieve the utilization, engagement and savings they want. To learn more about today’s telemedicine options, the virtual care industry and best practices to identify the best provider, download our Guide to Telemedicine.