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Telehealth TopicsThe Benefits of Telehealth

The Benefits of Telehealth

What benefits does Telehealth provide and who enjoys them? There are a lot of advantages to using Telehealth. The following list discusses a few:

Patients Benefit
o Travel to distant specialists is not necessary when Telehealth is used. That means patients can save the cost of travel, the expense of staying in the ‘big city,’ if the distance is such that an overnight stay is necessary
o Hospitalized patients whose care is supervised by a specialist via Telehealth have the advantage of staying in their home community where family and friends can easily visit. Studies have shown that recovery is faster when patients are close to home.
o The danger of traveling in winter weather is removed
o Patients don’t need to take whole days off work to see a specialist or to take their children to the doctor
o Children miss less school when they can be seen via Telehealth
o Patients can receive care rather than foregoing treatment to save time and money

Providers Benefit
o “Circuit-riding” specialists who start providing care through Telehealth can save a lot of “windshield time,” converting the hours spent traveling to hours spent seeing patients
o Practices can become more efficient by seeing distal patients
o Providers can serve more patients, thus easing provider shortages
o Rural providers can receive continuing education with Telehealth connections, avoiding travel time and out-of-practice time
o Quicker access to specialty providers for consults

Critical Access Hospitals Benefit
o More revenue from patients kept local and managed by a distal specialist
o More control over what services are offered
o Better image in the community because of expanded services
o Staff can receive training over Telehealth connections, reducing the need for travel
o Administrators can save travel time and funds by attending meetings over Telehealth

Communities Benefit
o More specialty care available locally
o Money spent for health care in the community cycles through community businesses
o With increased availability of care, small communities become more attractive to businesses looking to relocate

Payers Benefit
o Reduced costs for emergency transport possible
o Costs for care in Critical Access Hospital often less than large facilities
o Patients may receive care sooner, avoiding escalation of illness, thereby saving costs in the long run
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