Virtual care involves diagnosing or treating patients from wherever they are without an in-person provider visit. Employees connect with a provider by phone, video, or chat on a computer, tablet or other device to address a range of symptoms and healthcare needs like getting certain prescriptions refilled. For patients, that can mean anything from talking through potential flu symptoms to regular therapy sessions. It’s a time and money-saving alternative to in-office visits, which is why it’s gaining popularity with companies of all sizes and their employees. According to McKinsey insights, virtual care use has increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline.
According to the 2023 KFF Employer Health Benefits survey, 91% of companies with 50+ employees offer telemedicine through their healthcare plan or a third-party provider. And the companies that do offer it make a lasting impact with current and potential employees — as workers are more engaged, staff morale is higher, and retention rates increase.
Why does it leave employees feeling that way? Because it transforms accessing healthcare into an experience that’s more affordable, more convenient, and more efficient.
- More Affordable: Healthcare, like so many other amenities, has grown more expensive in recent years. More than 100 million people in America — a startling 41% of adults — are saddled with medical bills they cannot pay, according to a KFF Health News investigation with NPR and CBS News.
Telemedicine helps employers — and their employees, in turn — spend less. According to Penn Medicine, people who use telemedicine spend 25% less on their wellness costs than those who don’t. Healthcare costs can put people under mental strain, but offering employees access to telemedicine helps them to be more focused and feel less pressured about how they’ll afford the care they need for their family.
- More Convenient: Being sick and home from work is one thing. But when an employee needs to visit a clinic or hospital, it’s time away from work, plus time spent traveling and sitting in a waiting room to be seen. That delay can take them away from other responsibilities like child or pet care, which could pile additional costs on top of medical expenses.
Telemedicine can quickly connect patients with a clinician or specialist from wherever they are without a disruption in their day. When patients have the flexibility to see specialists from the car, couch, or bed, they’re immediately put at ease.
- More Efficient: How many sick days does the average American get each year? Six to10. How many of those do they use? Two or three. As necessary as healthcare is, it can also be time consuming. Much of that boils down to the commute, the wait, and the time between touchpoints for patient and physician.
Telemedicine speeds up the process. But it’s more than speed — for rural residents needing care, telemedicine streamlines care so they can get diagnosed pre-visit, then come to the physician only if an in person exam is medically necessary.
Increased access to telemedicine makes getting care easier. Now Paytient is doing more than helping members pay for care — we’re making more convenient care solutions available on our platform.
We’ve recently partnered with Catch Health to create Paytient Care, a round-the-clock virtual care option for Paytient members.
Paytient Care users can leverage the service for issues like cold and flu, UTIs, skin issues, certain prescription refills, or other healthcare needs that may arise — for just $29 per visit for participating employees and employers. Interested? Click here to learn more.