Telemedicine offers 'modest' travel-related cost savings, VA study finds

Certain patients under the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system qualify for travel reimbursement to get to and from appointments, which the government pays. According to a recent study in Telemedicine and e-Health, travel payments are projected to cost the VA approximately $1 billion in 2015, but telemedicine services may help reduce these costs.

Researchers reviewed all telemedicine visits at a VA Hospital in White River Junction, Vt., between 2005 and 2013. They determined telemedicine consultations resulted in average travel savings of 145 miles and 142 minutes per visit. In total, that translated to $18,555 dollars saved in travel reimbursement a year.

Additionally, during the study period, the number of telemedicine consultations grew, so by 2013 the travel pay savings reached $63,804, which was approximately 3.5 percent of the total travel pay disbursement.

Researchers concluded that, though modest, telemedicine reduces VA travel payments as well as travel time for patients.

More articles on telemedicine:

Telemedicine kiosk company CSI partners with Doctor On Demand
Providers confused by varying telehealth defintions, policies: 14 findings
Johnston Health launches telemedicine program with UNC for burn patients

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