Why telehealth offers a promising solution to lower healthcare costs in rural communities:
This report analyzes prevalent health issues in ten rural counties across Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, including diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, heart conditions, and cancer.
For instance, Dougherty County, Georgia, stands to gain significantly from improved broadband and telehealth access, potentially saving $16 million annually. On the flip side, Baker County, Georgia, could save $350,391 per year.
By expanding telehealth availability in Baker and Dougherty county, it could lead to around $13 million in savings by reducing avoidable emergency department visits as detailed in the report.
Other potential savings include:
1. Reduced transportation costs: $26,978
2. Preventing avoidable admissions: Approximately $1.7 million
3. Avoiding preventable readmissions: About $5.6 million
4. Mitigating lost productivity costs: Estimated at $22 million
"The results are striking by themselves, but even more so together.
By the most reasonable conservative estimates, we show that preventable emergency department visits, preventable hospital admissions and readmissions, and lost economic productivity offer huge savings opportunities for these ten counties, totaling almost $43 million each year." - Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative
The awesome thing about telehealth is that as technology becomes more advanced cost savings will increase alongside better patient outcomes.
Find the full report here: Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative.