Stuart Kahn, President

Telemedicine Reduces Health Care Costs

The Issue

A technology client with 129 employees approached us looking for further ways to reduce health insurance costs. They already had implemented high deductible plans, an HSA with financial incentives, a wellness program and increased copays for brand name prescription drugs but were looking for other ideas now.

Our Solution

After discussing a range of less common methods to control insurance costs, we decided to recommend the implementation of a telemedicine program, an alternative method of accessing a physician for care in today’s emerging technology driven health care scene.

By allowing a person to consult with a real doctor from the comfort of their home via electronic means (a phone, smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC), an individual requiring care is able to speak with a board-certified doctor in a real-time, personalized manner. During this process, physicians are able to diagnose illnesses, recommend treatment and prescribe medication (excluding controlled substances), if appropriate. Telemedicine services are designed for most common medical conditions and if the symptoms are of a more serious nature, the doctor will recommend the patient go to a local doctor, urgent care facility or emergency room for further evaluation.

By providing their employees with access to quality, timely care, employees are more apt to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and the treatment needed to recover quickly from an illness. Employers can experience lower overall claim utilization (since use of telemedicine services do not count as a claim on group health plans) and lower costs as a result, along with less employee downtime and the associated loss of job performance.

The Result

After one year on the program, we have estimated that the employer has saved an average of $600 in claims costs for each employee who has utilized the program. First year usage statistics indicate roughly 15% of the employees in the company are using the program and with an average claim cost savings of $600 per employee, total first year savings amounts to roughly $11,600. Additional savings have been added through less employee down time, although this is a bit more difficult to quantify. With word of mouth spreading about the success of the program, we expect the savings to continually increase each month forward as more employees jump on board.

Contact us now so we can discuss additional ways for your company to save money on health insurance premiums.