Telemedicine – How Cost Effective is it?

Telemedicine is becoming more mainstream as more and more employers offer this free consultation service as part of the health benefits package. But a study recently published in the journal, Health AffairThinkstockPhotos-641036546s, states that telemedicine might actually be driving some costs up. Easy access and low (usually no) cost, encourages patients to seek out consultation for the common cold or high fevers – illnesses patients usually don’t seek out treatment for in a typical health care scenario.
Patients who use the emergency room as primary care are not yet utilizing telemedicine which is the group in which the most cost savings will be made. Researchers suggested increasing the cost of telemedicine with patient cost-sharing, but also seeking out those patients who frequently use the ER to encourage them to use telemedicine instead. There is significant savings in telemedicine if the right balance is found. According to the study, on average, a telemedicine appointment costs about $79 compared to $146 for a doctor’s visit and $1,734 for an ER visit.
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Doctors, payers may dislike changes to primary-care model

A tweak in the way some providers are reimbursed under a new primary-care payment model could deter providers from joining the Medicare initiative.

The CMS is looking to expand its ambitious primary-care model known as Comprehensive Primary Care Plus. But there hasn’t been as much interest in the pilot as anticipated, and now the agency wants to pay incentives only to some participating providers and not others. Continue reading

Trump says healthcare system will ‘implode’ without major changes to Obamacare

Despite reports that spell big trouble for lawmakers who promises equal or better coverage following repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump said Congress must move forward with sweeping changes to his predecessor’s healthcare reform law.
Obamacare ready to be signed.
Trump told dozens of governors who met with him at the White House that the nation’s health care system was in danger of imploding if he and Congress didn’t remake Obamacare.

But the pressure of keeping those who obtained insurance because of the ACA increased over the weekend after those governors gathered for their annual meeting received a sobering report on the impact of repealing the 2010 law.

Continue reading