For many months, I have been stating that we’ve missed an inflection point in healthcare; we have passed the tipping point for telehealth and it is on its way to become a common feature in healthcare in the U.S. Remote patient monitoring and virtual visits are already delivering on the promise of lower healthcare costs and more effective and efficient services.
We now have another data point to support this view. Wellable conducts an annual survey of more than 100 health insurance brokers and wellness directors, who in turn represent thousands of companies and millions of employees. One section of “2020 Employee Wellness Industry Trends” reports on company investment in telemedicine. The survey results indicate that 62% of the covered companies plan to increase spending on telemedicine services in 2020. When you add the 36% that intend to maintain the current level of investment, you end up with more than 9 out of 10 companies.
According to Wellable, this segment enjoys one of the highest percentages of maintained or increased investment. It is particularly interesting to note that small and medium business (1,000 employees or fewer) are about 50% more likely to increase their telemedicine investment than large employers.
Clearly, telehealth has caught on with U.S. employers and the momentum is building to increase its adoption. This is just one more hopeful indication that technology is having a positive impact on improving our healthcare systems.