According to Medicare.gov, telemedicine (which may also be referred to as “telehealth”, “e-health” or “virtual healthcare”)”seeks to improve a patient’s health by permitting two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient and the physician or practitioner at the distant site. This electronic communication means the use of interactive telecommunications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment.”
Many are using the term “telemedicine” with widely varying definitions, so it’s worth understanding what telemedicine means and how it is being used.
- Evidence-based Telemedicine clinicians can evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely using store-and-forward technology and/or real-time video conferencing. Remote healthcare practitioners can capture and transmit medical data to share with peers.
- Symptoms-based Telemedicine, a clinician communicates with a patient by phone or video chat. The clinician makes their diagnosis based upon the symptoms that the patient provides, which is typically not backed up with clinical evidence.
No matter what kind of telemedicine, claims and employees are the real winners.
Your clients win because of overall cost savings to their claims and employees win because they never need to leave the comfort of their home to receive care. Simple items like, colds, flu, and UTI’s can often be diagnosed over the phone. This proves exceptionally helpful to cut down on time missed from work, too.
Telemedicine is often already built into the health plans you are selling today, too. Check with your carrier and educate, during open enrollment meetings, the value of telemedicine.