Who Choose Telemedicine?
We are excited to announce that in April, ExpressMED/BOAC will be launching telemedicine services which will be available both through our website and through a brand new app (COMING SOON).
Why? 75% of Urgent Care patients say that they would prefer using a virtual visit rather than going into a clinic if it’s appropriate and available to them as an option.
We’ve been doing some research about the usage of telemedicine by patients and found this article from LiveClinic about why patients are choosing telemedicine services (with some commentary about how it applies to ExpressMED/BOAC patients).
Here are the top 5 reasons why patients are choosing to ‘go virtual’ with their doctor visits:
1) Save time:
Probably the biggest draw for any patient wanting to use a telemedicine visit is the idea of saving time. Nobody enjoys sitting in a waiting room in the presence of other sick people. We’d all rather be at home in pajamas.
With telemedicine, this is now possible. Making an appointment with a doctor can take as little as 3 minutes, and the doctor will call back with 1-3 hours depending in their availability.
For Urgent Care patients – time is always a concern. One of the biggest advantages of adding telemedicine services is that it will allow us to expand the acailaibility of our providers even if the brick and mortar clinic is not open. It will give patients added access to a provider when it’s most convenient for them and in a timely manner.
2) Save money
The other big interest factor for telemedicine comes from the cost savings. The conventional doctors visit can cost upwards of $200 without insurance, and even with insruance, some co-pay amounts can be close to $50.
For between $35- $50 you can visit with your own doctor from the comfort and privacy of home. For this reason, it seems the virtual visit model of telemedicine is valuable in more ways than one.
Copayments and deductible rates are all over the board. We see patients with copays ranging between $25-$75 depending on their insurance plan as well as patients with very high deductibles who are responsible for 100% of the cost their visit. Additionally, we often see patients without insurance – which is why we start our self-pay rate for in-clinic visits at just $95. We are excited to be able to start offering our telemedicine services at a self-pay rate of just $59.
3) Connect to your own doctor
Many of the services currently available for telemedicine focus on connecting you with a doctor, but not your doctor. If you wish to speak with someone you know, you are still required to make a conventional appointment. With services such as liveClinic, doctors finally have the opportunity to offer video visits to their own patients.
This means patients can connect with their own doctor, instead of an on call doctor who doesn’t know them or their history.
Obviously our Urgent Care providers at ExpressMED/BOAC are not primary care doctors, but one of the biggest advantages of using our telemedicine services over others is that you’ll be able to be in contact with a licensed medical provider in your own state, affiliated with a local practice, and who can easily refer you to a provider for follow-up care in-person if it’s necessary.
Another benefit of telemedicine is the privacy element. In some cases, there may be a need for privacy where patient feel uncomfortable visiting their doctor in person.
Having the opportunity to visit with a professional via video or audio call can be a big relief. Also in the circumstances where a patient may have contagious conditions, they may also not want to be a cause of further spread of illness.
How incredible will it be to just open your computer or an app on your phone and be connected with a medical professional – without having to leave your home or office?! No worrying about spreading germs to others. We are also using eVisit as our back-end service for being able to provide telemedicine – which means that you’ll be using a HIPAA compliant platform for your interaction with the provider.
5) Support and connection
The final benefit for patients of telemedicine is that they can keep a consistent connection with their doctor over time. Many patient visit once for a diagnosis and then have to return for follow up. The opportunity to save time, money and revisit with a doctor via video is very appealing.
Studies have also shown that consistent follow up with patients via video or audio calls can create a better recovery rate. The accountability and support of an in-touch doctor cannot be overlooked.
Telemedicine will also be a great way for patients to touch base with our providers for quick follow-ups without having to come into the clinic. We’re also excited to be able to roll out this feature for our work comp patients to make it easy for them to get the care they need and get back to work quickly.
Stay tuned for more information and our official LAUNCH date for telemedicine! We hope you’re as excited as we are.