Monday, July 02, 2012
Rx for the Future?
Telemedicine – it’s not a new specialty, rather a means of delivering medical information...electronically (e.g.: telephones, website, email, webcams, etc.). A 2010 Intel survey of health care decision makers suggests that this emerging market will transform the health care industry in the next decade. In financial terms, a more recent study by BCC Research estimates growth of 18.6% from 2011 to 2016 to over $27B.What’s behind the growth? Joan Voight, CNBC.com in a recent post, Telemedicine: A Prescription For Lower Health-Care Costs? cites examples of satisfied small business owners. Along with employees enjoying the convenience of a virtual exam, health care providers are embracing the alternative delivery system. Although provider payment policies are evolving, many third party payers including Medicare and private health insurance plans are beginning to pay for online visits. Typically, the online rate is lower than a face-to-face visit but it’s better than no reimbursement at all.