Telemedicine Contributes to Efforts to Restrict the Spread of COVID-19
You are being bombarded by public announcements and health awareness campaigns, but there is a solution to one of our fears in these troubling times. Now is a good time to consider working remotely and accessing remote healthcare as well.
Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
So, though you are careful and do all the right things, if you suspect you may have been near someone who has tested positive or you, yourself have contracted the virus. The last place you want to go is either the Emergency Room, or your doctor’s office filled with patients. Why not simply make a phone call or video chat to speak with a Board- Certified medical provider. This provider can advise you of what action you should take, within the CDC regulations and advisements. This valuable consultation achieves great comfort, yet costs nothing if you or your employee have the benefit of Telemedicine through Prosper Benefits included in your healthcare coverage.
How Telemedicine works is simple. Telemedicine is the use of technology that enables remote healthcare. Basically, it makes it possible for physicians to treat patients whenever needed, wherever the patient is, by using a computer or smartphone.
Telemedicine offers 24/7 access to online medical consultations with a national network of US-licensed medical providers. This easy access anytime, anywhere, offers a safe, effective and money-saving alternative for care when an individual’s regular physicians are not available or if you do not want to be in close proximity to others.
Did you know?
Integrating Telemedicine with your current employee benefit offerings can increase access to medical care without the cost of regular medical visits for your employees, and without sacrificing quality. You or your employees have the ability to:
- Consult with board certified medical providers 24/7 via phone, email, or video consultation
- Receive care for common medical conditions such as colds, cuts, insect stings, allergies, headaches, fever and more
- Get a prescription or medication refill
- Replace waiting rooms, closed offices, or waiting weeks for an appointment for the comfort of their own home
- Access a Personal Health Advocate for ongoing help and support
- Be secure in the fact that the consultation is 100% confidential
- Receive answers and treatment within 30-60 minutes
How many times have you heard it said that the internet has transformed modern life?
Indeed, it’s probably changed how you stay in touch with family and friends, purchase goods and services, and even search for information about health problems.
Consider, for example, the ways Telemedicine could help you and your employees.
- S. board-certified doctors offer diagnoses, treatment options and prescription, if medically necessary.
- Access to high level care when you need it
- Comfort by the fact you are not sitting next to someone in the waiting room who is actually sicker than you
- Consultation to relieve concerns regarding medical issues
- The ability to use this benefit instead of going to an urgent care clinic or ER, resulting in cutting unnecessary out-of-pocket costs and time wasted in crowded waiting rooms.
- The average hospital stayin the U.S. costs $97,000. An average family of four would be able to save $3,600 in a year, with one emergency room visit per six months.
- Telemedicine is often used to treat patients with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, urgent care visits for coughs and colds, and to connect primary care physicians with medical specialists.
Telemedicine had its first start over 40 years ago by hospitals to service rural and remote areas with limited healthcare access. Even astronauts routinely have their health monitored remotely. It’s not a separate medical specialty, but a way of delivering healthcare across the spectrum. However, not every office visit is amenable to telehealth. But for minor ailments or routine follow-ups, Telemedicine is a reasonable, and often preferable option. In fact, the Veterans Health Administration (VA) has delivered over 300,000 remote consultations using Telemedicine.
Efficiencies of time.
Creating efficiencies in the use of time is essential in not only healthcare, but in the work force as well by reducing the cost of healthcare out-of-pocket expenses, and travel time and an increasing efficiency through availability of medical assistance during off hours. One study conducted in New York showed that Telemedicine demonstrated a cost-effective way to replace more than a quarter of all visits to the ER.
Research has demonstrated that health care delivered via Telemedicine has equal benefit to those visits conducted within a provider’s office. In fact, some specialties exceed the quality of an in-office visit, like mental health and ICU care. An important initiative within healthcare is increased patient engagement and having patients learn to take ownership for their acute, chronic and preventive healthcare. Telemedicine allows additional follow-up visits to be scheduled to encourage long-term engagement.
Employees benefit from Telemedicine.
Studies over the last 15 years have shown high rates of patient satisfaction. Using a smartphone, teleconferencing, and going wireless are everyday occurrences for the public today. Employees seeking medical care want to save driving time when possible, avoid sitting in a clinic of other sick patients, prevent work loss, and get themselves — and their families – healthy.
When you enroll in healthcare coverage via your Association, any coverage option you choose is bundled with Prosper Benefits, at no additional cost. This amazing suite of benefits helps you and your team keep healthcare coverage cost at a minimum while providing access to more healthcare benefits. Telemedicine, as well as Confidential Counseling, Health Advocate and Medical Bill Saver comprise this offering. Individually, each of these benefits offer the ability to save on your healthcare plans and goals, and together this package assists in reducing healthcare coverage plan claims and, when used, promises to reduce rate for the next years plan.