Employers planning to offer telehealth on the rise

Employers planning to offer telehealth on the rise

Telehealth is growing at a rapid rate, and a new survey found that about 74 percent of U.S. employers plan to offer it to employees in 2016.

That number was at less than 50 percent for 2015, according to an annual survey by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), a nonprofit association of 425 U.S. employers.

The NBGH survey found that of the companies that currently offer telehealth services, only 12 percent of employees are taking advantage of the program, according to a Reuters article.

However, use of the tools by consumers is on the rise. For instance, American Well is seeing strong growth so far this year, Chief Executive Officer Roy Schoenberg says in the article. In addition, telehealth company Teladoc saw patient visits grow from 127,000 in 2013 to 299,000 in 2014, according to Reuters.

What’s more, the average estimated cost of a telehealth visit saves about $100 or more compared to the estimated cost for in-person care, according to a study published in late 2014 by Dale H. Yamamoto of Red Quill Consulting, Inc.

Still, not all patients are on board with the use of telehealth. Many feel uncomfortable participating in a virtual visit or distrust a diagnosis via telehealthFierceHealthIT previously reported.

This year saw a rise of health IT IPOs, with one of the biggest being Teladoc. At the same time, the lead up to the IPO wasn’t all smooth sailing for the company; Teladoc reported a hit of $17.1 million before it went public. It did, however, see its revenue grow 78 percent during Q2, to $18.3 million.

To learn more:
– here’s the report abstract
– read the Reuters article

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