Telemedicine and Workers’ Compensation
The rise of telemedicine has many wondering whether it can help reduce costs associated with Workers’ Compensation claims. A new survey conducted by Mitchell International, Inc. suggests that telemedicine and similar technologies may save insurance companies money by lowering costs.
What is Telemedicine?
The broader term, telehealth, refers to a broad range of technologies that promote patient care and make the administration of treatment more cost-effective via technology. Telemedicine specifically refers to remote clinical treatment. Health care providers can now evaluate patients, diagnose ailments, and treat patients remotely by viewing uploaded photos and descriptions of patients’ symptoms. Although it once seemed that the doctor-patient relationship had to be facilitated by face-to-face encounters, the American healthcare infrastructure is evolving to adapt to the use of remote technologies and electronic communication. Telemedicine is commonly used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist consultations, and more. Patients now have access to physicians around the world remotely via secure video and audio connections.
The Impact of Workers’ Compensation Costs
The cost of Workers’ Compensation claims is increasing drastically. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, medical benefits on lost time per claim have tripled over the past 15 years. Telemedicine is viewed as one of the primary options to control these escalating costs.
A recent survey conducted by Mitchell International, Inc. polled 275 executives in the Workers’ Compensation industry. Nearly half of those polled believed that telemedicine will be more effective at lowering costs, followed by artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, and wearable devices.
The telemedicine market is projected to grow six percent over the next two years. According to a report published by Orbis Research Market, the industry will be valued at $7 billion in the United States by 2020. Many companies are looking to telehealth to improve medical care for injured employees and the claims process.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Advocates of telemedicine identify several benefits to patients and providers. For example:
- Patients use less sick time for medical appointments
- No travel costs
- Greater sense of privacy
- More flexibility coordinating child or elder care
- Less exposure to contagious illnesses
- Increased revenue and less overhead for providers
- Better patient follow-through and improved outcomes
- Fewer downtime and lost revenue from canceled appointments
Overall, according to this recent survey, those in the insurance company have high hopes for the telehealth and telemedicine industries in reducing costs and improving quality of care for those injured on-the-job.
New Brunswick Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Employees Injured at Work
If you have been injured on-the-job, we can help. With offices located in Highland Park, New Jersey, a New Brunswick Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can provide you with a free consultation. We represent clients in New Brunswick, Edison, Somerset, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia, New Jersey. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or contact us online.