Telemedicine may save employers $6 billion per year, increase 68% (US)

Employers offering telemedicine projected to increase by 68 percent. Professional services advisory firm Towers Watson, in a survey of US employers with over 1,000 employees, has estimated that adoption of telemedicine by employees in benefit programs may save US companies up to $6 billion annually. This substantial number of course is projected on use by all employees and dependents. A reservation: it is $1 billion higher than the global eVisit savings cited by Deloitte‘s study. The definition of ‘telemedicine’ from the context of the TW release seems to be mainly virtual visits, but seems to also include alternatives such as health apps, kiosk visits and wearables. Employers offering telemedicine by 2015 are projected to rise to 37 percent from the present 22 percent, a 68 percent increase. Hampering this of course are state regulations restricting telemedicine and only 18 states requiring private payer reimbursement (Deloitte);  an example FierceHealthIT points out in their article is a recent Tennessee medical board proposal requiring at least one in-person visit to a doctor prior to patient telemedicine use. Towers Watson release.

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