Employer telehealth adoption to reach 96%, survey finds

Healthcare benefit costs are expected to rise another 5 percent in 2018, leading employers to explore alternative healthcare delivery and payment models — like telehealth — to offer their employees, according to a new survey.

The National Business Group on Health asked 148 large employers in the U.S. about their healthcare strategy and plan designs.

Here are six things to know.

1. Healthcare costs are expected to rise to an average of $14,156 per employee in 2018, as opposed to $13,482 per employee this year, with employers covering nearly 70 percent of those costs and employees bearing the other 30 percent of the burden.

2. Almost all employers (96 percent) plan to make telehealth available to their employees in 2018 in states where it is allowed.

3. Of the employers that currently offer telehealth, 20 percent said 8 percent or more of their employees use the service.

4. Forty percent of employers have incorporated a value-based benefit design to encourage employees to manage chronic conditions. There has been an 18 percent increase in the use of value-based benefit design to drive patients toward telehealth.

5. More than half (54 percent) of employers plan to offer onsite or near-site health centers next year.

6. Employers ranked specialty pharmacy (26 percent) as the top driver of healthcare costs.

More articles on telehealth: 

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GW Medical Faculty Associates to bring telemedicine to military personnel

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