Telehealth services will expand in 2018, medical experts say. With another 5 percent increase in healthcare benefit costs expected in 2018, more U.S. employers will move to telehealth services, according to a recent survey by the National Business Group on Health.
Telehealth Services: Who Gains
More employees will indeed have access to telemedicine in 2018, without getting major cost increases.
The Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey found that most employers (96 percent) will make telehealth services available in states where it is allowed next year. More than half (56 percent) plan to offer telehealth for behavioral health services, more than double the percentage this year.
Telehealth Services: Cost Effective And Accurate
Telemedicine is cost effective for three reasons:
First, it replaces higher-cost care settings, primarily urgent care and emergency rooms. Net cost savings of around $200 per visit are expected.
Second, telehealth as an employee perk, is a win for the employee/employer relations because it provides convenient health benefits.
Third, telehealth provides better technologies, growing payer consensus, a regulatory requirement for reimbursement, and services such as, behavioral health, child care, maternity, and dermatology.
Health industry professionals expect telehealth services to grow in 2018. Hospitals, skilled nursing services, and clinics will provide telemedicine services that will improve healthcare and reduce costs.