90% of large employers to make telehealth a benefit in 2017

As healthcare costs continue to spike, large employers are turning to alternative healthcare delivery models such as telehealth to keep medical spending under control, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health.

The Large Employers' 2017 Health Plan Design survey was based on responses from 133 large U.S. employers that offer coverage to more than 15 million Americans. The survey was conducted between May and June 2016.

Below are four findings.

1. Nine in 10 employers said they plan to make telehealth services available to employees in states where it is allowed in 2017, compared to 70 percent of employers in 2016.

2. About 84 percent of employers said they will offer employees a consumer-directed health plan in 2017, or a 1 percent increase from this year.

3. The use of Centers of Excellence for specialty treatment among large employers is expected to grow from 79 percent in 2016 to 85 percent in 2017. 

4. Eight in 10 employers said they plan to offer nurse coaching for condition management. About 72 percent said they will offer nurse coaching for lifestyle management.

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