Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Telehealth saves a big health system $4 million in just three years

So far in 2018, Spectrum’s MedNow telehealth program has saved healthcare payers $1.5 million in total savings and patients driving 476,279 unnecessary miles.

Replacing a conventional trip the doctor’s office with a telehealth visit saves patients—and the health system—time and money. Telehealth, in fact, has saved one big Michigan health system just over $4 million in three years.
Regence, a healthcare payer that serves more than 2.4 million members through Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield for select counties in Washington, yesterday released numbers claiming that consumers, on average, save $100 per visit when using telehealth rather than in-person office, urgent care or emergency room visits.
That figure is based on services provided through national telehealth vendors in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington and reflect cost savings associated with medical claims, mileage and wait times in traffic and in the waiting room.
“Technology has accelerated the adoption of telehealth as one of many convenient options people have to help contain their health care costs and seek care based on where, when and how they want it,” says Brodie Dychinco, Regence’s general manager of convenient care delivery.
When a Regence member with a commercial, non-Medicare policy uses telehealth instead of an emergency room, urgent care or doctor’s office visit, they save an average of $75 out-of-pocket on associated medical bills. This savings number may vary depending on the member’s specific policy and whether deductibles have been met.
New numbers from Spectrum Health, a 12-hospital system based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, revealed even more detailed costs savings from telehealth.
Spectrum Health has built and operated its own consumer telehealth program since 2014. In just about three years, Spectrum has conducted just under 50,000 (49,788) total digital doctor visits, including 30,775 telehealth visits for acute care and 19,033 for specialty visits.

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