Thanks to the rise in Obamacare, hundreds of employers are contracting through their insurers with Telehealth. Telehealth provides a cut in medical costs and instead gives workers access twenty-four hours a day to doctors and nurse practitioners. The UNH (United Health Group) started the program in January. At this point, Telehealth provided over 310,000 subscribers in Nevada alone with virtual doctors’ visits.
Telemedicine has been prompted in part by the Affordable Care Act, which is channeling many more patients into a system already overwhelmed by physician shortages. According to AAMA (Association of American Medical Colleges), the U.S. will have almost 100,000 less doctors than will be needed by the year 2020. If that’s not a frightening thought, I don’t know what is. Telehealth providers, however, claim they assist in making up for this deficit by aiding doctors in delivering services more efficiently, not to mention quickly. According to studies, LiveHealth Online saved an average of $70 per visit, and most of them saved two or three hours of time.
Telecare works great for treating non-life threatening conditions such as minor colds, flu, pink eye, and sprains. Don’t let the technology aspect fool you—Telecare claims they contract with physicians who have an average of fifteen years’ medical experience and who are certified to practice in the states from which patients call.
Telehealth also claims that they track their physician’s medication prescribing practices to guarantee that they’re not abusing the pharmaceutical system. Although reaching out to your own primary physician in a time of medical need is the best way to be treated, there’s always the possibility that your regular practitioner cannot be reached. In a case like this, Telehealth is an excellent way to be able to speak to a physician.
Not only is Telehealth convenient, but it is also cheaper than going into some physician offices. Most users claim they pay about $40 a visit, and some even say they pay as little as ten dollars a month for a subscription to Telehealth.