How telemedicine can boost workforce productivity

As you compare employee health plans for your small business, consider one that offers telemedicine benefits. Why? It makes it easier for employees to get the healthcare they need and get back to work.

Here’s how it works: Patients to see a doctor virtually — via phone or video through a smartphone or computer. Doctors can treat a variety of non-emergency healthcare needs this way, including allergies, skin rashes, colds and flu. 1

Cost savings for employers and employees

Making it easier for workers to see a doctor can mean a drop in absenteeism and improvement in productivity. It also addresses the problem of “presenteeism”— in which employees are at work but dealing with physical ailments that keep them from giving 100 percent.

Beyond the indirect savings for employers telemedicine can also save employees on the healthcare end. The typical cost for a telemedicine visit is $40-$50 versus an average of $125 for an in-office one.2 And according to the American Medical Association, 70% of doctor's office visits can be handled over the phone, and half of ER visits are non-emergencies.3

And for employees traveling on business or vacation, they can take advantage of an “always on-call" doctor from their hotel room without worrying about the cost for out-of-network care to treat a skin rash or bug bite.

When telemedicine is the right call

Telemedicine offers same-day and after-hours appointments, with most services providing access on weekends, late evenings or even 24 hours a day. If a non-emergent medical problem crops up outside of business hours, an employee can address the concern immediately without visiting the (costly) ER. Telemedicine offers quick diagnosis and shares health information with the patient's primary care physician, ensuring that continuous and holistic care are woven into the patient's existing healthcare framework.

Learn more about telemedicine and why it’s part of Humana’s integrated care delivery model that provides healthcare services where and when patients/members need it.

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