It’s projected that the global telemedicine market will be worth $113.1 billion by 2025, growing at an estimated CAGR of 18.3%. As regulations and guidelines in healthcare continue to evolve and expand, many health insurance companies are now offering telemedicine as part of their standard benefit packages to their members.
Some Benefits of Telemedicine:
- It provides greater access to healthcare providers for patients in rural and remote areas.
- It attracts the “phone app” generation that has an expectation of immediate access to all services including healthcare.
- It keeps minor health issues out of expensive health care facilities and hospital emergency rooms.
- It provides access for those with mobility issues to a wider spectrum of providers.
- It reduces the number of office visits required by patients with chronic conditions.
The adoption of telemedicine offers a unique opportunity for insurance companies, or commercial payers, to deliver healthcare conveniently and inexpensively to their members, resulting in healthier and happier members.
The increased speed of access along with better convenience also improves one’s perception of healthcare and increases knowledge and understanding. This in turn reduces the future burden on the healthcare system as patients become better able to manage their own healthcare. High deductible plans within the United States are helping to drive adoption.
In addition, telemedicine allows patients with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and mental health conditions to be monitored remotely. The subsequent reduction in demand on the in-patient healthcare system will allow insurance companies to better invest in emerging technologies for healthcare; increasing efficiency and capacity. It will also allow companies to provide the same level of care to all of their members while reducing staffing costs. Additional benefits could include providing 24 hour access-to-care for people with mobility issues and for those in remote locations.
The ROI for companies willing to proactively adopt telemedicine for their members as well as for their employees is substantial. Its use will dramatically change, for the better, the way healthcare is viewed and consumed.