The Magic Number in Telemedicine


As a benefits consultant, your clients ultimately judge your performance by the impact your services have on their healthcare costs and employee engagement with the benefits plan. Measuring reductions in overall spend is easy year-over-year, but how do you know how the benefits plan is performing on a monthly or quarterly basis? Moreover, what is the best way to measure satisfaction?

So what is the magic mumber in telemedicine?

Utilization rate. And do you know why? One simple reason. If your clients’ employees don’t engage this service, nobody wins. Not your clients. Not their employees. Not you as the broker. Employee usage is the engine that drives this benefit and without engagement, all the savings and perks go untapped.

The employee utilization rate is the number that should flash neon in the minds of all HR department personnel when they hear the telemedicine provider's name. But, many of the consultants we talk to don’t know the employee utilization rate or ROI for their client’s telemedicine benefit.

Since we live and die by the employee utilization and ROI of each one of our clients, that is a painful thing to hear. Usually what comes after “I don’t know the employee utilization rate” is “it’s really low.”  The sad fact is that most telemedicine providers don’t lead with these metrics in reporting. In many cases, reporting is buried in the annual performance metrics of the major medical plan.

Employee utilization rate is undoubtedly the number one factor that impacts cost savings for your clientsbut it doesn’t end there. High utilization rates indicate an engaged employee base that feels cared forpromoting higher satisfaction levels and company morale. Your clients can also expect to attract and retain more top talent and see higher levels of productivity when telemedicine utilization rates are higher.


At First Stop Health, we lead the telemedicine industry with an average employee utilization rate of over 40%. Our competitors' best is around 7% while telemedicine that comes embedded in major medical policies is a very distant third at around 1% employee utilizationhardly providing any benefit at all. It’s important to note that to achieve a positive ROI, companies typically need an employee utilization rate of at least 30%.

Let’s take a quick look at what high utilization can mean as far as savings for your clients. In just the first year, a company of 1,000 employees can expect to avoid upwards of 350 medical visitssaving the employer more than $100,000. In addition, more than 700 hours of lost employee time can be avoided. Another number you will want to remind your clients of is the 27% average ROI delivered by First Stop Healtha pretty significant number to their all-important bottom line.


Employers need to know the value their telemedicine benefits are providing. Many facts and figures swirl around in HR departments but it is vital that employers are made aware of the key numbers that drive results. Employee utilization rate is number one in telemedicineit drives ROI and best represents the value the service is delivering, meaning it should be front and center in any and all reports from the provider.

Your clients should never have to search for their employee utilization rate or ROI. It is on you to emphasize these figures and their significance to your client's bottom line. As a consultant, the results you generate across the benefits portfolio should always be front and center.