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Five Real-Life Scenarios Where Telehealth Wins the Day

healthcare costsemployee benefitsTelehealthhealth benefits • 4 min read • Jul 1, 2019 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Ali Cassidy

You can hardly find a news article or advertisement about telehealth that doesn’t tout its benefits:

    It saves money!
    It’s quick!
    It’s convenient!
    Patients prefer it to in-person care!

In an industry that’s best-known for complexity, high costs and an utter lack of convenience, telehealth seems like magic. But have you wondered how virtual care achieves its claims? Have you thought about how it could benefit your company in a real-life – vs. magical – way?

Here are five scenarios where telehealth wins the day for cost-effective, convenient and high-quality care:

    1. Hacking cough and fever:

    At first, it seems your employee is suffering from a common cold. She has a mild fever, runny nose, body aches and chills. But soon she develops a cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. It’s definitely more than a cold – she probably needs medical care – but she really doesn’t want to leave her bed to endure a long wait time in an urgent care with other sick people.

    With telehealth, your employee can request a visit – from the comfort of her bedroom – and connect with a provider in a matter of minutes. The doctor will determine if it’s bronchitis (a viral infection) or something requiring antibiotics and will advise her on next steps for recovery. The entire visit is completed in 30 minutes or less – and she never has to leave her bed.

    What’s more, telehealth visits with a provider like MeMD will cost $67 (retail), while an urgent care visit for bronchitis and related conditions costs up to $200 or more.*

    2. Weekend road rash:

    Your assistant’s teenage son loves skateboarding, but skateboarding doesn’t always love him. On Saturday afternoon, he takes a nasty spill and ends up with ugly abrasions on his forearm and shin. His mom worries the cuts and scrapes go beyond her basic first-aid training, but the pediatrician’s office is closed for the weekend and she doesn’t want to pay the deductible for an urgent care visit.

    Instead, she calls her telehealth provider and consults with a board-certified emergency medicine physician. Using video conferencing, he assesses the skateboarding injuries and instructs mother and son on how to care for the wounds, treat the pain and what to watch out for in the days to come.

    At the cost of $67 for a telehealth visit, your assistant saved $133 by skipping the trip to urgent care, which typically costs about $200.*

    3. Pink and goopy eyes:

    Your manager’s daughter is sent home sick from preschool. The diagnosis? Conjunctivitis – or pink eye as it’s commonly known. Despite his best efforts, your manager wakes up the next day with tell-tale signs. Eyes shot through with red, crusty yellow goop at the corners, and itchiness and burning.

    His doctor can’t get him in that day, so he requests a telehealth visit and is connected with a provider in less than 10 minutes. It’s clear he’s suffering the same condition as his daughter, so the doctor e-prescribes antibiotic eyedrops to his preferred pharmacy. The pink eye is gone in a couple of days, and your manager is back at work. The experience is quick, efficient and effective – and considerably less expensive than the average $168 primary care visit or $200 or more for urgent care.*

    4. Rolled ankle on the mountain:

    Your HR director is an avid hiker, but she trips on a rock and rolls her ankle during an early morning hike. The ankle begins to swell and the skin surrounding the injury is discolored. She knows she needs medical attention, but she’s nowhere near a healthcare facility.

    Thankfully, her cell service is strong, so she connects with a telehealth provider right there on the mountain. He examines the injury via video and determines it’s a sprain, not a break. She uses a spare t-shirt from her pack to brace her foot per the doctor’s guidance. She gingerly makes her way back down the mountain and completes the regimen he prescribed: over-the-counter medications for pain and inflammation, elevation, ice and rest. He also recommends a follow-up visit in 1-2 weeks with her regular doctor to ensure the ankle is healing well.

    The best part? No urgent care, and no urgent care price tag.

    5. Strep throat “outbreak” at work:

    It’s the stuff of nightmares. First, your department head calls in sick on a Thursday – painful sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and a 102-degree fever. A swab at urgent care confirms it’s strep throat. By Friday, four more employees are suffering the same symptoms. Work comes to a grinding halt with a big chunk of your staff home in bed.

    Instead of a sad parade to urgent care, you remind your staff about their telehealth benefit, available 24/7 and all weekend long. Each of them connects with a provider who completes an examination via video and, following best practice guidelines for sore throats and strep, e-prescribes an antibiotic.

    The entire staff is back at work by Monday – and your business is back up and running. The bonus? The cost of telehealth services is considerably lower than the $800 bill for four urgent care visits, saving several hundred dollars for the exact same treatment and outcomes.

While the retail rate of a telehealth visit with MeMD is $67, we work with partners to build lower visit fee options to accommodate visit fees as low as $0, depending on the plan design. Learn how your company can benefit from telehealth.

*Urgent care and ER prices according to Healthcare Blue Book:

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Ali Cassidy