Telemedicine

The 21st Century Answer To The Call For Better Health Care

Telemedicine must be part of the solution to Texas’ health care challenges. A new TAB report draws on national data, Texas-specific research and recent surveys of Texas voters and businesses.

The report, “Telemedicine: The 21st Century Answer to the Call for Better Health Care,” assesses the growing health care crisis in Texas, the promise of telemedicine and the direction in which state policies should move to improve access to health care via telemedicine.

Innovation in the health care sector, particularly the growth of telemedicine services, is providing opportunities for Texas to address its low physician supply, rising health care costs and poor health outcomes for residents. As many as one-third of medical issues now resolved in doctors’ offices, urgent care centers or emergency rooms may be amenable to telemedicine interventions. This alternative could increase access and save money for patients, employers and the state.

TAB concludes the report with the following recommendations for state policymakers:

  • Ensure that standards of practice for telemedicine and in-person care are consistent with the end goal of increasing access to quality healthcare and lower consumer cost.
  • Adopt a technology-neutral definition of telemedicine, which allows for patient choice and physician discretion in selecting the encounter with the technology they deem safe and appropriate.
  •  Only require a patient to be examined in-person or travel to a facility when medically necessary.

TAB’s telemedicine report is available by CLICKING HERE

Pulse of Texans

Texas health care consumers are calling for new ways to receive care. They want immediate access without time-consuming waits. They want providers to use technology to streamline services. They want care at a better price. Their employers want to offer all of that in health benefits packages.

Innovation is key to solving Texas’ health care gaps. Telemedicine has the potential to transform traditional health care delivery models. Telemedicine is ready to answer the call.

TAB surveyed 600 registered Texas voters to understand their viewpoints on telemedicine and their use of health care. Key findings of the results include:

  •  70% of Texans favor the use of telemedicine to diagnose common medical conditions.
  •  25% of Texans have used an emergency room to treat such common conditions – a much more costly and time-consuming alternative to telemedicine.
  •  51% of Texans believe that access to health care providers has gotten more difficult.
  •  24% of rural Texans have to drive 30 minutes or more to get to the doctor’s office.
  •  23% of Texans have to wait 14 or more days to see their doctor.

TAB also surveyed 159 of its member businesses, the majority of which are small businesses. Here are some key findings of the results:

  •  77% favor the use of telemedicine to diagnose common medical conditions.
  •  70% believe that access to health care providers  has gotten more difficult.
  •  18% of companies offer telemedicine as part of its employee health benefits package. The top reasons given were that telemedicine is an innovative benefit offering and provides cost savings to the company and employees.
  •  100% of companies who currently offer telemedicine as a benefit plan to continue offering it and 24% have plans to expand the benefit.
  •  66% reported positive feedback on employees’ experience using telemedicine, and 0% reported a negative response from employees.

For the full 2016 Texas Voter Survey on Telemedicine, CLICK HERE

For the full 2016 TAB Member Survey on Telemedicine, CLICK HERE