Telehealth is the use of mobile technology to deliver health-related services, such as remote doctor consultations and patient monitoring, according to the U.S. Telehealth Market Report conducted by Business Insider Intelligence. Simply put, telehealth is where technology meets health care, says Mayo Clinic. These services improve and support patient health by using digital devices to better connect patients to providers, resources, and important medical info. For example, a patient with diabetes can enroll in telehealth services to:
- Share food logs, medication info, and blood sugar levels with their nurse.
- Download an app that tracks carbohydrate intake each day.
- Access a patient portal to schedule appointments and request prescription refills.
- Receive email, text, and phone reminders when it’s time for a flu shot, foot exam, or other preventative care.
- Attend virtual appointments with their provider via videoconference call.
Telehealth services benefit patients in many different situations. Patients in rural or remote areas can save time and money by talking with their provider during a virtual appointment. Patients with limited mobility or transportation options can connect with specialists and order medicine for delivery.
Telehealth services provide the support and resources patients need to live a healthier life. More than fifty percent of U.S. hospitals have telehealth programs, and the trend is growing, according to the American Telemedicine Association. In fact, fifty seven percent of patients said they would prefer to videoconference with their provider for a general consultation, according to the 2018 Business Insider Intelligence Insurance Technology Study.
Technological advancements like telehealth services are allowing the medical community to encourage a preventative and wellness-based model, explains Business Insider. With that, the business community has an opportunity to save time and receive quality care through telehealth.
Should employers and employees use telehealth services?
Employers: Yes! Find the right telehealth program that will work for your employees. It is recommended you look closely at the compliance requirements to avoid creating a separate group health plan altogether, says D CEO Helathcare. That way, the group health plan meets federal requirements while enrolled employees can enjoy telehealth benefits.
Employees: Absolutely! If your employer or health care provider offers telehealth services and you are comfortable with the approach, you should give it a try. Telehealth is a great way to get quality, convenient healthcare.