Telemedicine in the workplace: Reducing healthcare costs and employee downtime

Nov 26, 2019 / The telemedicine advantage /
Telemedicine helps reduce healthcare costs and employee downtime in the workplace.

The benefits of telemedicine are all encompassing and attainable for small and large businesses alike. 

Telemedicine, as defined by The American Academy of Family Physicians, is the practice of medicine using technology with the purpose of delivering care from a distance. Remote clinical services allow physicians (with help from an on-site clinician) to provide quality care to patients even if they are not in the same physical location. 

It has been common practice for major companies of 3,000 employees or more to offer on-site clinics to provide medical services by licensed providers in a comfortable and safe setting. For smaller companies that lack the proper infrastructure, on-site clinics with telemedicine services may appear to be more challenging to implement, but in fact are just as feasible.

The Working Clinic®, a leader in on-site telehealth care, has been committed to providing these services to workplaces with as few as 200 members and companies with more than 1,000 employees. Small businesses that use self-insured health benefits can reap the rewards of an on-site healthcare clinic with telemedicine services, including reducing healthcare costs and employee downtime.

The truth about rising healthcare costs

It's widely known and accepted that healthcare costs in the U.S. continue to rise year after year, but people and companies alike do not completely understand why. With that said, understanding medical costs, and why they continuously increase, can give businesses and individuals guidance on how to minimize these expenses and improve their budgets. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield estimates that healthcare spending in the U.S. is upwards of $3 trillion a year. This major strain on resources has lately been attributed to three key factors.

  • Prescription Drugs: These are used to prevent, manage and cure various conditions and diseases, yet the associated costs are estimated to increase by 136% between 2010-2025.
  • Chronic Disease: Arthritis, obesity, cancer and heart disease are some of the most common, costly and preventable health problems, altogether accounting for 86% of U.S. healthcare costs.
  • Lifestyle: Unhealthy lifestyle choices are linked to these aforementioned costly chronic conditions.

Considering many of these factors are dependent on an individual's lifestyle habits, it may seem like an impossible task for businesses to combat them, but that's where telemedicine comes in. Telemedicine and telehealth essentially offer employers of all sizes to increase their employees' access to care by incorporating healthcare into the two places they frequent most – work and home.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield estimates that healthcare spending in the U.S. is upwards of $3 trillion a year."

Reducing costs with technology

Telemedicine technology in a workplace health clinic allows an on-site medic to connect with a remote physician in order to provide quality care to employees in a fast and efficient way. The majority of health risks and concerns can be prevented, diagnosed and/or resolved in a single consultation, therefore providing immediate cost management by diverting patients from more expensive care.

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine conducted a study on telemedicine programs and found the net cost savings per visit ranged from $19-$121. Clearly, this technology can reduce costs for both large and small companies as the savings add up after each visit. 

Offering convenient access to quality on-site medical care can improve the overall health of employees. Many employees may defer care due to the inconvenience and cost of a doctor's visit. While the employee is risking their own health, it also results in higher healthcare costs for the employer and decreased productivity at work.

An on-site clinic like The Working Clinic® provides employees with a convenient option for urgent care and preventative services so there is no employee downtime or reason to leave work for an appointment.

Additionally, this specific clinic can address 95% of conditions treated at regular physician offices, prescribe necessary medications for conditions and provide individualized treatment for follow-up with the same physician. Less time away for doctor visits and immediate access to a physician means fewer health insurance claims from routine primary care check-ups or visits to emergency rooms.

Employers can reduce their healthcare costs by offering employees on-site clinic services and utilizing telemedicine technology, which works by:

  • Expanding your patient base
  • Cutting back on overhead costs
  • Reducing transportation costs
  • Eliminating follow-up visits
  • Improving documentation and risk management
Give your employees immediate access to a licensed professional in a comfortable setting.Give your employees immediate access to a licensed professional in a comfortable setting.

Let AMD Global Telemedicine lead the way

Health insurance brokers and self-insured small companies can benefit from The Working Clinic®, an on-site clinic solution created by AMD Global telemedicine. This unique model offers high-touch and high-tech healthcare with no upfront or out-of-pocket costs for employers.

When partnering with The Working Clinic®, your employees receive:

  • Quality affordable care: Each clinic is staffed with an on-site medic with immediate access to board certified physicians to provide care in a fast and efficient way.
  • Strong company-physician bonds: The on-site medical professionals will form strong bonds with your employees, creating a trusted relationship that makes everyone comfortable in their work setting and increasing employee engagement with their health plans.
  • Better access to care options: Employees don't have to worry about making arrangements to go out and receive care, they have a convenient option for on-site occupational medicine services.
  • Healthcare cost containment: Businesses can enjoy simple implementation that comes with no start-up costs, no required build-out and simple contracting. Additionally, employers will pay an affordable flat PMP fee only, with no claims to file.
  • A more productive workforce: When workers have immediate access to care, employers will find that they take fewer sick and PTO days, meaning less time is spent out of office. Employees will have better overall health and well-being when they take advantage of the wellness programs.

Making healthcare more affordable goes hand-in-hand with helping patients engage with their health plans and providing value based care.

Creating your on-site clinic

Once you're ready to work with The Working Clinic®, our team will come in and create a small-footprint clinic at your location, cost-free. We will equip your clinic with a registered medic who is trained in wellness and nutrition, as well as access to doctors who can diagnose and prescribe medication via telemedicine technology.

With The Working Clinic®, you can offer your employees a unique and efficient way to receive on-site care. For more information on implementing telehealth solutions into your facility, contact AMD Global Telemedicine today.

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