In the past few years, a new way of life has evolved.
One of these changes has been the way Americans receive healthcare.
With the rise of telemedicine, Minute Clinic, and urgent care facilities – there are now a variety of ways to access medical care.
As an employer, you need to be aware of this trend. Make sure your health insurance plan encourages employees to use these convenient and affordable means of accessing healthcare.
Changing Roles in Primary Care
The role of the primary care physician might be evolving.
Primary care doctors could be spending less time on sick patients to diagnose a virus and minor illnesses. Instead, they are focusing more on chronic issues and annual check-ups.
Does this mean we skip seeing our primary care doctor? Definitely not! Primary care physicians will always have a vital role to play in maintaining our overall health.
Don’t minimize the value of annual physicals and check-ups. Remind your employees to take advantage of preventive care options. When an individual has a relationship with their physician, they are more likely to seek help earlier if they are concerned about a health condition.
The sooner a medical condition is found – the less overall cost.
The Rise of Telemedicine
When it comes to diagnosing a minor illness, we now have telemedicine as an affordable and convenient option.
The cost is usually less than the cost of an in-person visit.
Telemedicine offers its own network of doctors. Once your employee is registered with a telemedicine service, it is a simple conversation with a doctor over the phone. They will receive a diagnosis with treatment options and a prescription called into their pharmacy if needed.
The good news for employers is that employees did not have to take time off to go see the doctor. They can step outside in the parking lot to take the call, and receive quality healthcare in less time and hassle.
Urgent Care vs Emergency Room
We all know that the emergency room is the most expensive healthcare.
In order to best control your healthcare costs, it is critical that you educate your employees on when to use an emergency room or urgent care facility.
For example, my husband recently fell in the driveway cutting a gash over his eye. With blood everywhere, it seemed like the ER was necessary. However, in considering where to get care, we realized it was a further drive and a longer wait time at the ER.
Instead, we chose the urgent care facility close to our home. He was in and out in 2 hours. He received 12 stitches, a care plan, and booked a follow-up appointment to take the stitches out. He had a doctor he could call if we had any issues before the next appointment.
It was much less expensive, and we received the right care he needed.
Research Your Options
The good news is that employees now have a variety of options on how to receive healthcare. When creating your benefits package, make sure your insurance plan covers telemedicine options. Remind your employees to find where the nearest urgent care facility is to their home if they need it.
As an employer, stay informed on these best practices so you can save on medical costs while at the same time provide quality care to your employees.