Online doctor visits are going to skyrocket in the coming year according to a recent survey by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). NBGH surveyed 140 large employers, 48% of them made telehealth options available to employees last year and 74% of them will offer it next year. According to consultant Towers Watson, telehealth is expected to save U.S. companies more than $6 billion a year in healthcare costs.
Major telehealth providers such as American Well, Doctor on Demand, MDLIVE and Teladoc offer on-demand services for about $40-50 for a 15-minute session. Patient visits at Teladoc grew from 127,000 in 2013 to a current reach of 100 million people. With healthcare spending increasing at about 6% annually, telehealth is helping U.S. companies cut costs without having to increase employee premiums or cost-sharing. While advances for home diagnostic tools are limited, telehealth will continue to expand rapidly considering the immense cost cutting potential for U.S. companies.
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