Telehealth or online health services are already a big part of insurance coverage. It is anticipated that the trend will only grow in the future. It might seem that you might not be getting the best care since you are not face to face with your physician, many simple illnesses can be resolved within a few minutes.
Of course chronic illnesses should be discussed with your physician to see if it is possible to be treated online or not. Be sure to check with your provider. In some cases (like myself) you may have a well established relationship with your provider and you will be able to avail yourself of online services.
The emergence of telehealth is poised to reinvent the healthcare sector. FierceHealthIT reports that telehealth visits can save $100 or more when compared to traditional in-person care. A study by Dale H. Yamamoto of Red Quill Consulting, Inc. found that, “The average telehealth visit ranges from $40-$50, while in-person care can cost as much as $176."
The reduction in cost has widespread effects. The cheaper price combined with increased convenience could lead to far more preventative care, as well as reducing the number of visits for minor illnesses such as sinusitis, flu, or colds. Telemedicine has treated these issues 83% of the time. The potential increase of in-patient efficiency due to online screenings is no small benefit.
The study also asserts that removing restrictions for Medicare reimbursement will lower costs even further. At a 70% reduced cost, even healthcare executives are espousing telemedicine, hopefully indicating decreased restrictions in the near future.
Source: Phillip Vitelli, DO