Telemedicine Offers Cost Savings, but Also Poses Risks

Business Insurance

René Y. Quashie, Senior Counsel, and Amy F. Lerman, Associate, in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm's Washington, DC, office, authored an article in Business Insurance, titled “Telemedicine Offers Cost Savings, but Also Poses Risks.” (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Employers remain under extreme pressure to reduce the health care costs of their employees, while cutting absenteeism and increasing employee productivity. Beginning in 2018, a new twist in the form of a 40% excise tax is set to be imposed annually on health plans with premiums exceeding $10,200 per year for individuals and $27,500 per year for families. According to various projections, the so-called “Cadillac tax” may affect at least one-third of U.S. employers because it generally will be applicable to employer-sponsored health plan coverage, including coverage under group plans offered by employers to their employees.

Making the effort to reduce health care costs even more difficult is the fact that many employees hesitate to take time off work, particularly for ailments they perceive as minor. According to the American Medical Association, an average physician's visit can take up to four hours out of an employee's day.