Insurance Technology Featured Article

Usage of Telemedicine to Increase in US, says Towers Watson

August 12, 2014

Telemedicine technology is catching up very fast all over the world, making use of IT to exchange medical data to deliver consultations, procedures, exams and monitoring services over vast geographic distances.

Particularly, this technology has been gaining much traction in the United States. Many health care organizations and numerous government agencies tout it as a way to reduce unnecessary hospital visits, offering specialized services to isolated, homebound or underserved populations.

Towers Watson, a global professional services company, after a detailed survey, has predicted that the use of telemedicine will drastically increase in the U.S.  Altogether, there will be 68 percent increase in the number of employers offering telemedicine by 2015.

This figure is expected to go up because of the lower costs of telemedicine technology, which is making way for insurance companies to back telemedicine, majorly cutting costs.

“While this analysis highlights a maximum potential savings, even a significantly lower level of use could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings,” said Dr. Allan Khoury, a senior consultant at Towers Watson. “Achieving this savings requires a shift in patient and physician mindsets, health plan willingness to integrate and reimburse such services, and regulatory support in all states.”

Towers Watson’s survey found that by 2015, 37 percent of employers expect to offer their employees telemedicine consultations as a low-cost alternative to emergency room or physician office visits for nonemergency health issues.

Presently, 22 percent of employers offer such telemedicine programs, a percentage expected to rise to 37 percent, a drastic increase. These percentages are built on Towers Watson’s 2014 ‘Health Care Changes Ahead Survey’ of U.S. employers with at least 1,000 employees.

Khoury further said that Telemedicine is just one piece of a broader telehealth spectrum that includes video, apps, kiosks, virtual visits, wearable devices and other advancements.




Edited by Adam Brandt

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Insurance Technology Articles

Certifi to Deliver Improved Billing and Payment Management Through SaaS William Platform

Inefficiencies in medical billing costs the U.S. healthcare industry billions of dollars annually, and as another government program, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, gets integrated into the system that number is surely to rise. A study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet in August of this year revealed hospital billing errors are resulting in overcharges of up to 26 percent. The number of errors for Medicare medical billing was all the way up to 49 percent, meaning almo… [ Read More ]
11/24/2014

Nominating Committee for 2015 Novarica Research Council Impact Awards Announced

For those on the technology implementation and management side of the insurance industry the research and advisory firm Novarica is no doubt a very familiar one. The company provides information, insights, and perspectives to industry professionals on a variety of topics and hosts the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council, a moderated knowledge-sharing community of more than 325 senior IT executives representing more than 300 North American insurers. [ Read More ]
11/19/2014

Kofax to Improve Claims Processing for General Insurance and Asset Management Provider

Improving the business processes associated with mission critical insurance interactions is at the top of most insurers' lists regardless of where they are located around the world. An example of the universality of the need to improve such processes through software automation, which not only improves business process efficiency but also reduces costs while improving the customer experience, is a recent announcement from business process automation specialists Irvine, CA-based Kofax. [ Read More ]
11/19/2014

MedeAnalytics Announces Partnership with Wellmark

MedeAnalytics Employer Reporting software provides healthcare providers with cost-analysis and reporting tools they can use to improve plans and better serve customers. MedeAnalytics recently announced that it will be working with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to enhance services for insurance recipients in Iowa and South Dakota. [ Read More ]
11/18/2014
FREE Insurance Technology enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!