Why You Need To Care About Telemedicine
Telemedicine is on the forefront of the healthcare revolution.
According to a recent report, the telemedicine market within the United States will be around $65 Billion by 2025. While telemedicine has existed for several decades, it has been becoming more mainstream with mass market adoption and more insurance providers covering the costs of virtual visits. Patients now can see doctors virtually for anything from hair loss treatments to flu medication. Hospitals are increasingly turning to telemedicine for emergency coverage as well, particularly for psychiatry, neurology and e-ICU services.
While some telemedicine companies directly employ physicians, many contract with medical groups or networks to provide professional services to individuals and companies over the internet. University and tertiary medical centers are using telemedicine to provide specialty consultations to outlying areas while health systems are using telemedicine to connect rural and community hospitals with urban specialists. Arrangements include for-profit companies like Teladoc who are building direct-to-consumer access to medical groups and integrated delivery systems like Dignity Health's Telemedicine Network that provide both direct-to-consumer access as well as hospital-contracted telemedicine support for stroke, ICU, psychiatry, and chronic disease management.
In 2019, MD Ranger published our first telemedicine benchmarks that provide market rate benchmarks for physician per-episode payments and monthly telemedicine hospital contracts. We have found two common payment methods for hospital-based telemedicine services: all-inclusive monthly fees that include both technology and professional services and monthly-plus per episode contracts that have a fixed monthly payment plus a per-episode payment when the physician is accessed. MD Ranger benchmarks include critical care/eICU, psychiatry, and neurology. According to our benchmarks, the mean per-episode payment for all telemedicine services is $190 while the mean monthly payment is $12,490.
With this rapidly growing market segment, the MD Ranger benchmarks can provide guidance on appropriate payment rates to telemedicine providers. This is an example of how MD Ranger’s comprehensive benchmark development process provides health care providers with tools to stay compliant with ever-expanding new frontiers in physician contracting. MD Ranger’s benchmarks, including for telemedicine, can play a role in your broader physician contracting strategy.