In 3 years, telehealth saved Spectrum Health $4M

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

Since Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health launched a telehealth program in 2014, it has delivered almost 50,000 virtual visits that avoided more than 11,000 trips to the emergency room and saved insurers nearly $4.1 million, according to Digital Commerce 360.

Spectrum operates its own consumer telehealth program it developed about three years ago called MedNow. So far in 2018 — the program's fourth year — MedNow has conducted 88 percent of the total 29,989 telehealth episodes it must perform for the full year, saving health insurers nearly $1.5 million and patients 476,279 miles in unnecessary driving.

According to a review of claims submitted to the system's healthcare plan, Priority Health, a typical telehealth visit costs $42, compared with a $917 ER trip, a $150 urgent care visit and a $111 office appointment.

"The impact of telehealth is improved access to care and decreasing cost of care," Spectrum Senior Director Joe Brennan told Digital Commerce 360.

More articles on telehealth:
Emory Healthcare teams up with Australian hospital on remote ICU
Alabama hospital uses telehealth to minimize travel times for kidney transplant patients
Report: One-third of patients who used a hospital's telehealth platform received in-person care at the facility within 1 year

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