Telemedicine is one of the fastest growing industries in the healthcare field, and 90% of all healthcare executives say that their organization either has a telemedicine application or they are in the process of developing it. Telemedicine gives people the ability to talk to a licensed medical professional by video chat or over their phone.
The medical professional is able to have a consultation, diagnose the condition, and dispense the correct prescription to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. Whether you’ve vaguely heard of telemedicine or you’re in the process of implementing it yourself, this comprehensive buyer’s guide will give you the important criteria and questions to ask when you’re evaluating a telemedicine provider. At Medek, we want to ensure that you partner with a telemedicine provider that will give you excellent service for your employees and company.
Although there are hundreds of reasons to provide a telemedicine service to your employees of small business, we’ve picked out the biggest three. They include but are not limited to:
Employers – Easier to Implement
For an employer to effectively implement a telemedicine system, it’s essential that they’re able to onboard their employees quickly and effectively. Beyond this, it’s critical that the telemedicine provider and the employers put several communication efforts in place to raise employee awareness and generate usage. At the very minimum, it should involve sending out several emails and flyers along with mailings that are tailored to the employer. While there are dozens of telemedicine companies available, few offer a customized engagement program like Medek. We help explain how, when, and why you’d use the telemedicine service, instead of leaving it solely up to the organization’s HR department.
Once onboarding completes, employers have to understand how successful they’ve been by how much the service gets used. The best way to accomplish this is by providing a web-based reporting service that gives the HR department up-to-date information. We also provide a full usage analysis to help our clients understand telemedicine’s benefit.
Employees – Easier to Use
Delivering a top client experience rests on the ability to deliver a quality employee experience. Your telemedicine service has to give a seamless user experience without a pre-registration process or any consultation fees. Employees simply won’t use the service if there are barriers in place.
Connecting your employees to the telemedicine service has to be seamless because they handle consultations in several ways. The best practice you can implement is to use trained patient experience people to collect all of the pertinent information from the patient before the patient connects with the doctor. This should take five minutes or less.
Employers should only offer telemedicine if they allow their employees to connect with a doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Patients should be able to speak to a board-certified physician in under five minutes who is able to write a prescription if needed. By engaging your employees and explaining the why, how, and when of telemedicine services, you drive usage.
The utilization metric reflects the general usage levels of the telemedicine service that directly drives cost savings for the organization itself. On average, the industry utilizes 7% or less, and it’s one of the most popular metrics available. Ask your vendor to give you their average utilization rates across all of their clients. Low rates typically point to a flawed implementation. If people don’t use it, the employer won’t reach their return on investment (ROI).
The participation metric estimates the depth of the adoption rate of the telemedicine service throughout the organization. A wider range of use gives a higher value for both employees and employers. Industry averages span between 2% and 5%. Low utilization rates indicate a lower overall value. Participation is key to measuring performance, and you want your annual participation rates to be at least half of the amount of your utilization rate.
You should see a positive ROI when you implement a telemedicine service. ROI depends on how you calculate your cost savings and your overall utilization rates. It’s essential to have easy-to-understand savings calculations in place based on how many in-person consultation costs you avoid. You also want to pick a telemedicine service that won’t penalize you for high usage. If the cost increases with the utilization, you should only see a positive ROI. Look for a provider that is willing to share risks and one that provides a contracted guarantee from every trip avoided to clinics and ERs.
It’s essential to understand each cost directly associated with implementing telemedicine. This varies from provider to provider, so you have a few things you want to keep in mind. You should estimate the per consultation fees for your employees (up to $50 per visit). Ideally, you should only charge per-employee, per-month fees that range between $0.15 and $15. Avoid onboarding fees, campaign engagement charges, escalated fees for a higher consultation level, usage limits, and extra charges for longer consultations.
There should be doctors who have a license to practice in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia on-hand at all times. It’s up to the doctors to provide a quality patient experience ranging from timely processes to clinical decision making. This service level directly depends on how the telemedicine provider recruits, trains, and monitors their staff. They should contract directly with the telemedicine provider, not a third party. The provider has to be able to train and coach their doctors to provide care that falls in line with clinical and service protocols to ensure an excellent patient experience.
There are several things you can do to ensure that you’re successful with an internal buy-in for telemedicine services. They include:
The correct telemedicine provider can help an organization reduce their claim amount for costly and unnecessary healthcare services, reduce employee’s out-of-pocket expenses, improve productivity, and reduce hours missed as a result of going to and waiting for a doctor visit. Your telemedicine provider must:
Medek provides comprehensive telemedicine services to employers and consumers through a nationwide network of board-certified physicians. We treat everyday health issues through our smartphone app, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Our physicians hold certifications and licenses in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia.
If you’d like to know more about our exclusive services, you can reach out and contact us! We’re happy to help and answer any questions you may have.