Are you looking for a cost-saving benefit that employees will actually use? If so, then read on to learn more about telehealth benefits.
Businesses run better when employees are physically and mentally healthier. As an employer, you play a vital role in helping your employees stay healthy. One way that you can boost employee health is by offering telehealth services.
Telemedicine services allow members to talk with a doctor, nurse or other medical specialist via a video conference system. Telehealth services range from sick visits to mental health. Telehealth doctors treat a broad spectrum of needs from bronchitis to pink eye.
Today, more employers are offering telemedicine services to employees. Nearly 96 percent of all large businesses plan to offer telehealth services to employees next year, according to one survey.1 Employers are jumping on the telehealth bandwagon because of the many advantages that it offers.
Telemedicine gives employees greater access to medical support. They can connect to a doctor or nurse from their tablet, laptop or smartphone — right in the comfort and convenience of their own home. Along with telehealth, many employers elect to have a nurse on site to care for injuries or illnesses that occur on the job site. Telehealth plus on-site nursing allows members to avoid expensive and inconvenient trips to the urgent care center or emergency room. Need more reasons to offer telemedicine benefits? Here are seven reasons why telehealth services should be a part of your benefits plan.
#1 Helps Reduce Health Care Costs
Trips to the emergency room results in increased costs for both the employer and employee. Telehealth can reduce costly emergency room visits when the problem is not urgent. This can help you save on insurance costs. It also helps your employees avoid costly co-pays, deductibles and other fees associated with emergency room care.
Telehealth saves money in other ways as well. Not having to drive to doctor appointments helps employees save money on gas, parking and transportation. Plus, most of the time, telehealth physicians charge less for online visits than in-office ones. This can help reduce insurance costs.
#2 Results In Fewer Sick Days
Employees with chronic health conditions may take a significant amount of time off work for doctor’s visits. Telemedicine helps reduce sick days since doctor visits can be scheduled after working hours or on weekends.
Plus, your employees can comply with their follow-up appointments without having to waste sick days. Instead of using their precious sick days for routine care, they can save them for times when they have the flu or strep throat.
#3 Improves Access To Health Care
Another benefit of telemedicine is the ability for employees who live in rural or remote areas to access proper care. For those employees who live in regions that are remote, it can be very difficult to get the proper care. A telemedicine doctor can help these employees get the care that they need to stay healthy. Additionally, telemedicine can provide a way for employees to get proper care during times when the weather is poor and travel is otherwise restricted.
#4 Allows For Convenient Access Anytime
Telehealth makes it easier for your employees to get care when it is convenient for them. Rather than having to drive to the doctor’s office or urgent care clinic and wait in line, employees can access licensed medical providers 24/7, 365 days a year from the internet, telephone or a mobile app. In most cases, it takes just minutes to talk to a doctor.
#5 Provides Confidential Access To Behavioral Health
One out of every five Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime, according to statistics from the 2012 Mental Health Canadian Community Health Survey.2 Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can significantly affect work-life. It causes sick days and impact performance. Not to mention, untreated mental illness can result in workplace violence. Behavioural health care can reduce the risk of workplace shootings and other issues.
Telemedicine offers confidential access to psychiatrists, therapists and other mental health professionals. Employees can access care right from their couch. There is no need to travel to an office and potentially running into someone they know. With telehealth, anyone can get therapy and for less money than traditional mental health services.
#6 Provides Support For Global Employees
Another benefit of telemedicine is that it provides access to care globally. Does your company conduct international business? Do have employees that travel to China, Mexico or the United States on business? You can easily support global employees by providing easy-to-access and convenient care that they can access from anywhere in the world.
#7 Helps Employees Address Chronic Health Conditions
Chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease are on the rise. According to the latest research, 60 percent of adults in Canada have at least one chronic illness. The prevalence of chronic disease is only increasing. It is growing at a rate of 14 percent per year and increasing fast among working-age adults under the age of 64. The reason why these conditions are increasing so much is because more people are obese and overweight. In Canada, 60 percent of adults are obese or overweight. Like chronic disease, the rates of these conditions will likely continue to grow.3 Chronic illness can lead to negative outcomes for employers and employees. These conditions cause significant absenteeism and other issues, resulting in lower productivity. They can also result in lower wages for employees.
Telemedicine can help with the early detection and treatment of chronic health conditions. Chronic health conditions may require that your employees make significant changes to their lifestyle. These behavioural and dietary changes may be quite difficult for them to make without a lot of support. Telemedicine can help your employees stay on top of their treatment plan and check in with their doctor more frequently.
Are you interested in offering affordable and convenient telehealth services to your valuable employees? If so, then contact us today to receive more information.