Telemedicine Companies Should Be Responsible for Its Success

July 21, 2016

Teira Gunlock

"Oh yes, we provide all sorts of engagement materials. Log in to our portal and you can find a library of flyers and emails you can use to educate your employees on their new telemedicine benefit," said the telemedicine sales associate.

Your clients might have heard this phrase from a prospective telemedicine company and taken the bait, thinking educating their employees on how, when and why to use their telemedicine benefit was going to be as easy as browsing the Internet to print off some flyers to include in open enrollment materials or sending a few emails. Think again...

It’s Not As Simple As It Sounds

Though documents and various other media may be offered to employees, this doesn’t typically drive engagement for employees to go out of their way to try a new way of seeking healthcare. Most employees will just go about their normal means of handling any medical concerns (which means going to the doctor, which results in no savings for your company).  

Only consistent messaging, repeated in various formats (emails, flyers, postcards) over the course of the entire year, is the way to reinforce the messages sent when you launch a telemedicine benefit.

While there has been great promise with telemedicine, the results of the perceived industry leaders have fallen far short of expectations. Plagued by low utilization (yes, even 10% utilization is too low); telemedicine companies are costing employers more money than they are saving. This is because those companies don’t provide customized, year-long engagement campaigns, but rather leave it up to the company or the broker to educate the workforce. Thus you are left not only with an unused benefit, but also a vast library of content collecting dust because the intended users just don't have the time or know-how to make it work.

So Who’s Responsible?

Successful implementation is the responsibility of the telemedicine company. By making the telemedicine company accountable for its service, it holds a stake in the outcome. First Stop Health bases its success on the utilization of a telemedicine benefit by employees. This keeps us accountable to your needs, and drives some serious savings.  

How Do We Do It?

We become a partner by being the only telemedicine company that drives real healthcare savings. We accomplish this by putting a high value on client service and customer success. First Stop Health customizes a 12-month engagement campaign designed for your workforce that is implemented, executed and reported back every quarter. Sounds easy, right?fsh-custom-engagementThis client-driven approach works to push engagement and help your company save the most from their telemedicine benefit. And if we don't save more money in avoided healthcare claims than the benefit costs, we will refund the difference. How’s that for accountability?

Human resources departments are busy places, and they shouldn’t be expected to mount a comprehensive engagement campaign for a new benefit that seems like it could be a good thing if only people would use it.

Properly rolling out a telemedicine benefit that drives real savings is a process, but could result in saving 70% of the cost of office visits and more than 50% of ER visits, according to the American Medical Association. It takes more than just a few emails and hope that employees will seek healthcare in a new way.

Originally published Jul 21, 2016 1:00:00 PM.