13 numbers that show how much telehealth visits cost your hospital

Researchers from Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine conducted a study in August to determine if the costs hospitals pay for telehealth visits differ from in-person visits.

Here are 13 numbers that demonstrate their findings:

  1. Physicians spent more face-to-face time in virtual visits than in-person visits. Physicians, on average, spent 13.8 minutes in a virtual visit compared to 10.2 minutes when the visit was in person.

  2. A physician-led in-person visit cost the health system on average $26.84. When the visit was virtual, it cost $27.26. If the virtual visit was led by a physician assistant, the visit cost just $9.86.

  3. The health system compared 250 virtual visits and 250 in-person visits to determine if there was a difference in no-show rates. For video visits, 58 percent of patients completed their visit as scheduled, 33 percent of videos were canceled and 8 percent of patients no-showed their visit.

  4. When the visits were in person, 61 percent of patients completed their visit as scheduled, 33 percent of video visits were canceled and 5 percent of patients no-showed their visit.

  5. From check-in to check-out, the average cycle time for an in-person visit was 80 minutes. For video visits, the time was just 24 minutes.

  6. The health system analyzed 53,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan telehealth insurance claims from 2011-17. Telehealth visits had a higher frequency of future related visits. However, this could represent excessive care or could reflect expanded access to care.

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