Telemedicine is having an amazing impact on the pricing of employee healthcare. Recently, several companies have started to add telemedicine to their benefits packages. Telemedicine utilizes technology to help diagnose people and care for them, including video conferencing and phone calls. This cuts costs and thus makes health care a lot cheaper.
One of the companies that has added telemedicine to their benefits package is Qualcomm. Qualcomm first added telemedicine two years ago. More than 60% of Qualcomm’s employees have use telemedicine services instead of visiting the doctor. Qualcomm has claimed that this has lead to lower costs.
Qualcomm is not the only company that has used telemedicine. Rent-a-Center started using telemedicine 24 months ago. They started allowing employees to speak with medical professionals on the phone and over the Internet. The company claims that they have saved more than a million dollars over a two year period by doing this. Penske followed a similar model about a year ago. They claim that they have saved more than $300,000.
Some companies have started using telemedicine to ensure that their employees are properly diagnosed. One example of this is the airplane company Boeing. The company recently started encouraging its employees to get a second opinion through a telemedicine service called Best Doctors. The service has been extremely impactful for the employees. In the year 2011, 30% of the employees that used Best Doctors had their diagnosis changed and more than half saw a change in treatment. So not only has this service saved Boeing money, but it also has had an impact on the health of the employees.
Telemedicine is emerging as a viable alternative to traditional health care. It is considerably cheaper and it is more accessible for patients. There are telemedicine tools that are available 24/7. Because telemedicine is such a great alternative to traditional medicine it is a growing industry. Telemedicine to save the U.S. economy almost $6 billion a year. Time will tell if the telemedicine industry continues to grow as time goes on.