You are not alone if you are trying to understand what is happening with telehealth and why it can benefit your business.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took swift and broad administrative steps to expedite the adoption and awareness of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these telehealth protocols are permanent, while others are temporary. As with the ongoing evolution of healthcare, telehealth legislation continues to change.
What’s good for your employees is good for your business
Virtual care can be beneficial to you and your employees. Employees can access their doctors quickly, so they can avoid taking extended time away from work. That means using less sick time and increased productivity and presenteeism for you.
Enabling employees to manage their healthcare easily means they can be proactive in their outreach and promptly address health concerns. A lower incidence of illness brings lower costs and better outcomes for everyone, resulting in greater employee satisfaction. You can improve your bottom line when your workers are happy and healthy.
Telehealth and saving money
We know that healthcare costs are rising for businesses and employees. Inflation, supply shortages, nursing shortages, and the rise in chronic illness diagnoses contribute to these costs.
Half of the population is affected by chronic illnesses, and the associated care accounts for more than 85% of healthcare costs. Before Covid, the CDC reported that 54% of US adults aged 18─34 had at least one chronic condition, and 22.3% had more than one condition. Statistically, employers are likely to have some chronically ill employees.
Patients with chronic conditions are more frequently hospitalized, resulting in higher healthcare costs. But virtual care enables physicians and specialists to more accurately monitor chronic condition patients, ensuring better disease management and reducing chances for hospital readmissions. Thus, keeping these people healthy and able to work.
Convenience and reducing cost
Today, we are accustomed to accessing our resources digitally, and healthcare is no different. Virtual visits are convenient. Without the distraction of being in a busy doctor’s office, the communication between patient and doctor may be more focused. From prescriptions, introductions to programs, and connections to community resources, virtual care may improve patient outcomes.
Not only are patients saving time through virtual doctor visits, but virtual access can also eliminate extended wait times for emergency care because patients can access emergency medicine within the walls of their homes. This will keep them out of cost-prohibited emergency departments.
While 2023 will not repeat the explosive growth of virtual care during the pandemic, progress will likely remain steady, if slower.
Even with recent declines in volume, compared to the time with the pandemic restrictions, virtual care is valuable and may become an increasingly important part of healthcare going forward.
Telehealth received several significant boosts in the Omnibus spending bill passed at the end of last year. The funding package extended telehealth for the next two years with several key provisions that expand the ability to provide and pay for virtual care services, provisions that otherwise would have lapsed at the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency. It allows employers to continue to offer telehealth on a pre-deductible basis for their employees in High Deductible Health Plans with Health Savings Accounts.
Two years is far from permanent, but the additional time may allow virtual care to prove its value and make a case for Congress to provide more permanent solutions.
PT Business Solutions
Whether you are looking for a fully integrated solution or need medical benefits for your employees, we have the right solution to meet your needs. Contact PT Business Solutions today.