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Employers Are Turning to Virtual Care Options to Mitigate Costs

The escalating healthcare costs are significantly impacting employees, with inflation, supply and nursing shortages, and increased chronic illness diagnoses being key contributors. A study published in ACR Open Rheumatology emphasizes that these factors affect half of the population, driving over 85% of healthcare expenses. Even if these issues only affect 1% of a company's population, they can still be responsible for up to 40% of the company's health insurance costs. Amid this, offering next-generation benefits like virtual care empowers employees to manage their health proactively, benefiting both them and employers by promoting a healthier workforce and a more profitable bottom line.

A woman having a virtual visit with her doctor.
The alignment of employee well-being with a company's bottom line underscores the benefits of virtual care adoption.

Virtual care aligns with the modern demand for convenience and accessibility, a trend particularly solidified during the pandemic when over 65% of patients experienced lower costs through virtual visits. This approach to care not only offers convenience but also encompasses prescription services, community programs, referrals for treatments, and even emergency care, reducing strain on overwhelmed emergency departments. Given the rising demand for mental health treatment, the availability of remote services and round-the-clock access will prove invaluable.

Virtual care streamlines healthcare, removing the need for patients to research symptoms and encouraging timely medical attention. This approach facilitates a proactive stance towards health, as patients can seek care without disrupting their routines. The convenience of virtual care encourages patients to engage in their health journeys actively, potentially avoiding more severe health issues and higher costs down the line.

For employers, virtual care translates to increased employee productivity and reduced sick leave. Employees can access care without lengthy appointments, promoting presenteeism. By offering 24/7 high-quality care at a lower cost, regardless of location, employers empower employees to manage their health promptly. This proactive approach leads to better outcomes and lower expenses, ultimately resulting in greater employee satisfaction and a healthier workforce. The alignment of employee well-being with a company's bottom line underscores the benefits of virtual care adoption.

Check out the full journal article from AJMC.

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