Health care costs are rising and will continue to rise. A growing population of healthcare users only exasperates the lack of Primary physicians, and sparse access to medical care. No government scheme will effectively resolve these concerns in the next 2-3 years. Telemedicine will.
While Telemedicine is certainly not the panacea of all healthcare challenges, it efficiently goes a long way to permitting cost containment and providing access to healthcare professionals.
Healthcare problems in America are not medical issues. We have the finest and most competent doctors in the world, albeit dwindling in numbers. We operate the best hospital system on the planet and while there are inefficiencies, our use of advanced imaging, breakthrough procedures, and strict protocols, generate better outcomes than most other nations. The quality of care is not the problem.
The problem is the system itself. The problem, more specifically, are the payors themselves. It is evident that a losing fight against costs has mired both self-funded corporations and State governments. Yet, in spite of being beaten up each month (healthcare costs rise by .8% monthly), these decision makers elect to stay in the same ring and then bemoan getting punched in the nose with ever rising expenses. As an added insult to their injuries, they are not showing any measurable improvement in their community’s state of health for the dollars spent.
Telemedicine technology today places a self-standing, consumer directed, and virtual medical office, in any location in the USA. The evolution of communication and non-assisted, non-invasive sensor technology, provides any employee the experience of sitting before a 24-inch desk-top monitor, having their vital signs (heart functions, lung functions, blood pressure, pulse, pulse ox, temperature) checked remotely, all while speaking with a MD on video conferencing.
The benefits of such a program are many; Employees are not leaving work to find healthcare nor are they inconvenienced with out-of-pocket travel costs or suffering loss of wages. To the employer this means increased production, avoidance of overtime or second salary substitution, lowering direct costs of healthcare and enjoying a healthier work force.
Telemedicine is virtual, immediate, and contemporary. The cost of care generally does not include the typically high brick and mortar charges seen levied by hospital out-patient clinics, specialists and even Primary physicians.
So what is the problem? We have defined the need and presented a cogent solution. Then why have self-funded corporations and governments been so reluctant to adopt a system whose cost savings and access to healthcare attributes are both immediate and peerless?
Fear and indecision, are the answers. Over the past several years, business has mirrored the hesitancy found in the general market. Bashfulness to innovation has become the hallmark of most corporate boards and indecision has been plaguing the C-Levellers. Holding on to the known is the only safe zone for most entities and governments. Therefore, the prospect of actual change, especially concerning the ultra-sensitive issue of healthcare and in spite of the rewards, becomes structurally frightening.
Now is the time for clear thinking CEO’s, CFO’s, Governors, and State Budget Directors to look beyond the limitations of the current failing healthcare structure. This is the time to adopt a scalable system applicable to every business or government and Timidity will only foster more of the same; by all standards that option remains quite unsustainable.
Corporate visionaries and government movers and shakers should know that Telemedicine is a financial tool – it stops the losses. It diminishes immediate expenditure; it invokes tremendous cost avoidance opportunities and reduces the significant outlay related to chronic care. If structured correctly, it is entirely capable of dropping an annual health care budget by an astounding Ten Percent. It does so by primarily by providing instant-direct access to meaningful and competent medical care.
Telemedicine is available everywhere now. The alternative is the status-quo; and that is going through a costly breakup, with no regard for outlandish pricing, reduced services, or limited access to care.
Telemedicine is a wise decision that necessitates immediate adoption by all self-funded corporations and State governments, without hesitation or uncertainty.
Source for Story:
The author is the Chairman and CEO of US Tele-Medicine