Sponsored

Employer Telehealth: Your Checklist for Success

December 2015By American Well

According to a National Business Group on Health survey, 74% of employers plan to offer telehealth in 2016, up from just half in 2015. In fact, employers of all types—from retail stores to airliners—are offering their employees telehealth services. These services can vary from online urgent care to nutrition programs to wellness programs to behavioral and occupational health offerings.

On the road to telehealth adoption, there are many different factors benefits managers need to take into consideration to determine which offerings and vendors are right for them. This telehealth checklist will guide you during your search and help you ultimately implement a successful program:

✔ Test the platform

Each telehealth vendor’s platform is different, and the best way to experience those differences first-hand is to actually test the product by having an online doctor’s visit. During the visit, ask yourself:

  • Is it straightforward or confusing to sign up?
  • Is it easy or difficult to select and connect with a doctor of your choice?
  • Is the service available after business hours and on weekends?
  • Would your employees be able to use the program easily and effectively?

These may seem like simple questions, but you’d be surprised how often they can be overlooked. The main goal of telehealth is to make medical care quick, convenient, and affordable without sacrificing quality of care. If the process isn’t seamless, your employees will never use the service.

✔ Know your launch options

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to launch telehealth with your annual benefits cycle. In fact, often it’s better to launch telehealth off-cycle to help highlight the benefit to employees without added distractions. Be sure to talk with each vendor about your launch options. Included in launch logistics should be the vendor’s ability to assist with practice set-up, provide customized communications collateral, and ensure health plan notification and carrier readiness.

✔ Determine eligibility

Do you plan to offer telehealth to your employees and their dependents, or do you offer it only to employees who take advantage of employer health benefits? Can you offer different telehealth practices—occupational health, behavioral health, wellness, etc.—to different groups? Make sure to ask your vendor these questions, and be sure they understand your vision and have the technology in place to support it.

✔ Understand the cost savings

Many employers turn to telehealth not only to provide their employees with a great benefit, but to reduce medical costs and save money. Compared to urgent care and emergency visit options, telehealth costs a fraction of the price; and even with primary care visits, telehealth is typically a better value. This means if only a portion of your employees replace their traditional healthcare visits with telehealth visits your cost savings can be substantial. Make sure the telehealth vendor can work with you to create a realistic, attainable, and customized ROI model based on your company’s unique telehealth goals.

✔ Weigh the importance of integrations

Integrating telehealth with your health plan allows for automated eligibility and claims. Real-time eligibility calls are used to verify coverage, services, and copays for your employees, while claims are generated automatically so doctors don’t have to focus on the paperwork—just their patients. Whichever vendor you choose should be experienced in these types of integrations, as well as be able to work with any health plan you select.

✔ Track your success

Once you have successfully implemented telehealth, it’s important to be able to track utilization. Utilization not only shows how many employees are taking advantage of the benefits; it can also give you a glimpse into the accuracy of your ROI model. Be sure to ask vendors if they provide utilization reports by month and year so you can track progress and cost savings.

With this checklist, you’ll be well on your way to implementing the telehealth service that’s right for your company, offering an important and much needed employee benefit.

To learn more about best practices for employer telehealth, download American Well’s Employer Best Practices eBook here.

This content was provided by American Well. Kiplinger is not affiliated with and does not endorse the company or products mentioned above.

Most Popular

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your stimulus checks.
February 19, 2021
Want More Tax-Free Retirement Income? One Man’s Whole Life Decision
life insurance

Want More Tax-Free Retirement Income? One Man’s Whole Life Decision

Whole life insurance might not be something that’s on your retirement planning radar, but for this client, here’s how it served his need to control ta…
February 23, 2021
The Current Plan for $1,400 Checks
Coronavirus and Your Money

The Current Plan for $1,400 Checks

Here's what you need to know about the stimulus check plan currently being considered in Congress for President Biden's COVID-relief package.
February 18, 2021

Recommended

What the Democrats' Agenda Will Mean for Your Pocketbook
Politics

What the Democrats' Agenda Will Mean for Your Pocketbook

With President Joe Biden in the White House and a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, Democrats have a clearer path…
January 30, 2021
12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket
Coronavirus and Your Money

12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket

President Biden's "American Rescue Plan" includes several proposals to assist people financially harmed by the pandemic.
January 20, 2021
Jim Patterson on The Kiplinger Letter’s 2021 Forecasts
Economic Forecasts

Jim Patterson on The Kiplinger Letter’s 2021 Forecasts

What to expect from the U.S. economy, the new Congress and next administration, as well as the outlook for bitcoin, self-driving trucks and more.
January 19, 2021
What You'll Pay for Medicare in 2021
Healthy Living on a Budget

What You'll Pay for Medicare in 2021

For Medicare premiums 2021, look for modest increases in premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
December 16, 2020