Can Investing In Telehealth Equipment Improve Your Bottom Line?
Like many new technologies we’ve been hearing about in healthcare, telehealth (or telemedicine) is one that promises dramatic change but hasn’t broken entirely into the mainstream just yet. One NCBI survey from last year cited only 30% of physicians had used telemedicine before, a number that almost feels too high in and of itself. Regardless, that trendline may soon change for a variety of reasons, including cost and travel considerations. As providers consider whether to invest in the technology and equipment to support it, today we look at three reasons why telemedicine may soon be here to stay.
The rise in behavioral health services.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience some type of mental illness in a given year, and admittance of mental health issues does not carry the same stigma it once did. As more health plans have bolstered their coverage of mental and behavioral health services, an increasing number of Americans are seeking treatment in these areas, and many are turning to the convenience of telemedicine to do so. In many ways, behavioral health treatment is tailor-made to remote treatment options, particularly for adjusting medication levels and other minor changes to an existing plan. Look for telemedicine and behavioral health to grow largely in tandem in the coming years.
Issues facing remote patients.
As many rural hospitals and medical facilities have had to close due to financial pressures, telehealth is growing out of necessity rather than a luxury. One of the key issues facing the growth of telemedicine in these areas is the availability of broadband internet, which is not readily available outside of urban population centers. Despite the technology concerns, the growth of telemedicine is changing the ways rural healthcare organizations train, hire, and budget for equipment. These institutions may later become the blueprint for telemedicine in more urban areas as it continues to grow.
The technology is already here.
While telemedicine will likely look vastly different in another decade, just as it would’ve ten years ago, the tools to deliver a remote experience are largely in place. A recent Pew survey found that 95% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind, and 77% own a smartphone. With that kind of adoption rate, the ability to connect via video to large swaths of the country is here. The bigger question facing healthcare providers is what, and how much, should they invest now in the opportunity? To properly outfit a practice with the right technology and training to get started comes at a price, which is where Aquina Health can help. Our Praxis solution offers the working capital you need, at repayment terms unlike anything in the industry. Contact us today for more information, or to submit an application.