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4 Ways Virtual Care Reduces Healthcare Costs

Scott Berghoff

Written by Scott Berghoff

Failure of care delivery and failure of care coordination are two top contributors of healthcare overspending.

A recent study conducted by Humana and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed the US wastes $1 out of every $4 spent on healthcare. Consider that the US spends twice as much on healthcare than any other first-world country, almost 18% of its gross domestic product and over $10,000 per individual, and the numbers become staggering.

Two of the key waste-domains identified are failure of care delivery and failure of care coordination. Each of these domains contributed $130B on the low-end to $244B on the high-end of spending waste.

They also determined that, “if proven, effective clinical strategies to improve care available today were scaled nationally, approximately 50 percent of that waste could be avoided”. Specifically, savings from effective interventions for these two waste-domains could be between $74B and $131.5B

Bruce D. Broussard, president and CEO of Humana, posted an op-ed piece on October 7, 2019,  on CNBC’s site. He identified two very important points. First, implement an “integrated approach that includes behavioral health, pharmacy, social determinants of health, home health and primary care,” and second, “…evolve the health-care system to more efficiently deliver personalized care for our patients.”  How is your organization doing in reducing costs?

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Simplify Care Delivery with Virtual Care

Reduce Avoidable ED Costs Visits by Diverting Them to Virtual Care

Virtual Behavioral Health

Avoidable ED visits permeate from many sources. One of the largest causes is the lack of available mental health professionals. Of all ED visits, 12% are for mental health issues. Between 2006 and 2014 the rate of ED use for mental health issues increased an incredible 46%. Compare that to the 15% increase in ED use for non-mental health issues over the same time frame. By increasing access to mental health professionals for these patients, and diverting those avoidable mental health visits to virtual care, hospitals and health systems might save millions of dollars every year. To attack the mental health treatment shortage with virtual care is almost a perfect solution. Consider that most evaluations made by mental health professionals are through two-way communication ⏤ by talking through and about issues and interpreting non-verbal cues. Virtual care has the features that accommodate this important need.

Virtual Urgent Care and Primary Care 

The paradigm of old was: if you build it they will come. That is no longer the truth. With new brick and mortar facilities costing an average of $1M each, not including operations costs and recurring overhead costs, this option is no longer a viable solution. By implementing virtual direct-to-consumer you will be reducing these cumbersome costs, improving time to diagnosis and treatment for your patients, and improve your patients’ access and convenience to healthcare. This convenience factor is one of the driving forces behind patients over-using the ED, but at an average cost of $1500 for each avoidable ED visit, and being 30% of all ED visits are avoidable, a better solution is needed. Virtual care is that solution. 

Reduce Readmissions and Costs with Virtual Care Discharge Management

Virtual Discharge Management

Virtual discharge management gives patients one of the best opportunities to heal at home and still be connected to the care they need. When patients have virtual care at their disposal for follow-up visits or immediate needs, they are not traveling to an office, going to an urgent care or to an ER — actions that lead to higher readmission rates. With the high quality, secure HD capabilities available today, providers can make important decisions based on actually seeing the patient and information gathered in the visit.

Reduce Healthcare Benefit Costs by Giving Employees an Alternative to Expensive ED and Urgent Care Visits.

Employee Virtual Care

A novel way to reduce avoidable ED visits and lower healthcare costs is through implementing a virtual care employee benefit. Hospitals employ many healthcare providers. Using them in a virtual care benefit for employees not only provides the hospital with a new income stream but also keeps the employees from using the ED as a primary care clinic or going to urgent care clinics — both of which are substantially more expensive than a virtual care visit. On a side note, it costs an employer an average of $14,000 per employee to provide their healthcare benefit. By using virtual care, an employer can significantly lower their healthcare benefit spend.

Simplify Care Delivery and Reduce Costs with
eVisit’s Enterprise Virtual Care Solution

We help healthcare organizations like yours manage patient care using their own providers, across their organization, regardless of specialty with our non-competitive virtual care solution. 

  • Built for the enterprise: over 150 points of configuration
  • eVisit is not a healthcare provider network - you use your own network of providers 
  • Accommodates your unique workflows and 
  • Integrates with over 50 EMRs through HL7 standards. 
  • Double-encrypted data vault keeps your patients’ data protected and secure. 
  • Enterprise-grade video works within stringent firewalls and security policies while delivering HD quality. 

Our in-house Customer Success team guides you through on-boarding and helps you optimize the eVisit platform to get the best value possible. Plus, we provide technical support for everyone—from your administrators and providers to your patients.

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Request A Free Virtual Care Assessment and Learn how eVisit’s Enterprise Virtual Care Platform Improves Outcomes, Reduces Costs, and Boosts Revenue ⏤

Published: February 25, 2020