Customer Experience and Design

Telehealth: Effects on Behavioral Health Services

Telehealth continues to change how physicians work together with their patients. Organizations are already expanding existing telehealth agendas while investing in telehealth technology.

In the workplace, employers are constantly looking for effective ways to reduce healthcare costs, all while continuing to offer services and benefits to their employees. Telemedicine can potentially help this process in the most effective way.

“National Business Group on Health said 56% of employers in 2018 plan to offer telehealth for behavioral health services as a covered benefit.”

Bruce Japsen, Forbes.com

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Telehealth and behavioral health have an extensive amount of opportunities for expansion in the upcoming years. There is a national shortage of psychiatrists, board certified substance abuse physicians, and mental health professionals. There is also a high demand for more mental health services, and a widespread opioid crisis.

Industry leading Foley & Lardner LLP, distribute a health survey every year to individuals across the field of healthcare.

Foley’s 2017 Telemedicine and Digital Health Survey reflects an increasing demand for telemedicine-based assistance among physicians and patients, as well as a wider acceptance of the technology by other major players in the healthcare industry.

2017 Telemedicine & Digital Health Survey Results

  • 76% of physicians and practitioners offer or plan to offer telemedicine services compared to 2014
  • A third of respondents said 50% or more of patients continued to use telemedicine after initial visit
  • Over half of organizations that track ROI reported savings of 10% or more
  • 29% who track ROI reported more than 20% savings from telemedicine services
  • 50% reimbursed from patient self-pay, illustrating how much patients value telemedicine services
  • 87% did not expect most of their patients to be using telemedicine services by 2017
  • 73% of healthcare providers are satisfied or very satisfied with their organizations telemedicine platform

Telehealth could be the biggest trend in regards to behavioral health when dealing with businesses and organizations in 2018 and beyond. The opportunity for rapid diagnosis and client convenience is what will set telemedicine apart.

It will be exciting to see how telemedicine progresses and advances over the years and helps with clients who are already invested, while trying to attract new clients who like visiting their medical providers in person.

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