Telehealth Lowers Health Care Costs
Telehealth utilization is a cost-saver and has far-reaching benefits for patients and providers, including increased access to quality care. We cannot and must not go back to a restrictive system that limits access to health care for millions of people. Here’s why.
In a recent voter survey, of the nearly 61 percent of voters who utilized telehealth within the past year, 66 percent of respondents were concerned about being unable to pay for health care. Of those who face financial insecurity, 84 percent are in support of a permanent solution for telehealth. Voters recognize the benefits and need for expanded virtual care and the cost-savings it can provide.
So do lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
As Representative Michelle Steele (R-CA) said recently, “For those who cannot afford to pay $7 at the gas pump and drive to their doctors or are a single parent and cannot afford to leave their child at home – virtual care is an important tool in the toolshed that will lower costs and expand access to care. This is why we need permanency in telehealth.” And Senator Patty Murry (D-WA) has said that. “During the past few years, COVID-19 has made technology even more central in health care and education as patients and providers have made greater use of telehealth services to make care accessible.”
We must take advantage of these benefits and protect the millions of patients who rely on telehealth.
The pandemic, public health emergency (PHE) designation, and telehealth waivers allowed more than one-in-four Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of a telehealth visit. This increased access comes at no cost to taxpayers. In fact, it comes at a 61 percent decrease in health care expenses for average patients.
Each visit, this means that patients can save $19 to $121. With inflation growing and increased prices on everyday items, these are palpable savings for people nationwide.
Telehealth access has helped providers save too, including helping cut hospital emergency department costs by more than 30 percent. In fact, 44 percent of surveyed physicians in a recent survey said telehealth helps lower costs.
Patients are counting on this access to this vital, lower cost virtual care. We must ensure this expanded access remains – not diminish it. It’s up to Congress to act.
ABOUT TELEHEALTH ACCESS FOR AMERICA
Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services. Learn more and take action today at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.