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Why should an employer provide primary care via telemedicine?

telemedicine in nigeria

Why should a business offer telemedicine for primary care?

The use of virtual primary care can enhance members’ health and cut down on insurance claim costs for employer-sponsored health plans. Why should a company provide virtual primary care to employees, aside from enhancing access to dependable, affordable treatment? Let’s examine the health concerns facing both employers and employees.

Reasons for the ill-health of employees and the high cost of claims

There is a correlation between poor employee health and high insurance premiums. 5% of plan participants account for 50% of health plan costs. A further factor driving health plan prices is that 20% of members account for 80% of costs. Health care expenses for these health plan participants exceed $50,000 annually.

The three diagnostic subgroups that these high-cost claimants often belong to are as follows:

Musculoskeletal (e.g., major joint and spine surgery)

Cardiovascular (e.g., heart attack or peripheral vascular disease)

Cancer (e.g., breast cancer, colon cancer, or lung cancer)

According to our analysis of their claims, these people had either few or no claims before their catastrophic health incident. The majority suddenly exploded out of nowhere rather than growing over time to become high-cost claimants.

Why is that so?

Low Utilization of Primary Care

A primary care physician has not been seen by 70% of Nigerian individuals in the last two years.

As a result, untreated back pain and arthritis can result in expensive surgeries and musculoskeletal claims. Large cardiovascular claims are caused by untreated diabetes, hypertension, and excessive cholesterol. Because of inadequate screening, early-stage malignancies go undiagnosed and progress to metastatic disease.

Primary care, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce healthcare costs by 33% and the risk of death by 18%.

Why don’t employees use primary care if it’s so good?

Low In-Person Primary Care Utilization Is Caused by Convenience and Limited Access

Attending a doctor’s appointment is really annoying. Patients must make the trip there, navigate the traffic, find parking, wait in the waiting area, and then wait in the exam room for what is frequently a 5-to 15-minute visit. A doctor’s appointment takes half a day to complete. To make the visit possible, patients frequently need to make childcare arrangements and take time off work. Many people decide against visiting the doctor since the hassle is simply too much for them.

It’s challenging for patients who wish to visit a primary care physician to schedule a new patient appointment. A patient must wait 24 days for a new patient appointment in major American cities. It’s even worse in mid-sized cities; a patient must wait an average of 32 days.

What Help Can Virtual Primary Care Provide?

Electronic Primary Care for Early Disease Diagnosis and Treatment to Prevent Catastrophic Disease:

By treating arthritis with non-narcotic painkillers, making recommendations for in-person physical therapy, or offering weight loss advice, virtual primary care physicians can reduce musculoskeletal claims. Additionally, a lot of people with arthritis-related chronic pain also struggle with mental health issues like despair and anxiety, which makes their medical condition more complicated. Virtual primary care physicians are able to identify and treat depression and anxiety as well.

Diabetes can be identified and treated by online primary care physicians to halt cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and blindness.

A blood glucose test is used to detect diabetes, and it can be requested by a virtual primary care physician and conducted by the patient at a nearby in-network lab like Quest or LabCorp. Long-recognized, reasonably priced generic drugs like metformin and glipizide are used to treat diabetes. Hemoglobin A1c blood testing, which the virtual primary care physician can also request from a nearby lab, is another blood test that tracks diabetes control over time.

In addition to lab work and medication, virtual primary care enables clinicians to see diabetes patients more frequently and for longer periods of time to advise them on food, exercise, weight loss, and early indicators of the condition.

Through monitoring, medicine, and lifestyle changes, a person with diabetes can live a long, healthy life and even reverse the condition. Virtual primary care physicians can help oversee Nigerian health issues, prevent a high level of casualties, and reduce cancer screenings to some extent by detecting and removing precancerous growths and treating cancer earlier while it is still treatable.

According to age, virtual primary care physicians recommend patients to gastroenterologists for screening colonoscopies. A colonoscopy not only checks for colon cancer but also has the added benefit of removing precancerous colon polyps. Colonoscopies thwart the onset of cancer.

In order to screen women for breast cancer, virtual primary care physicians can also request mammograms at nearby, in-network imaging facilities. Half of all breast cancers affect women under the age of 62, and 1 in 8 women will develop the disease. Women must undergo screening at the right age and frequency in order to detect breast cancer early when it is still treatable.

Summary

Employers can improve the lives of their workers and their families while also bringing down the cost of healthcare. The most important thing is primary care, and virtual primary care is a great way to get that. Health Connect 24×7 can assist organisations in offering virtual primary care to their employees at a fraction of the cost.

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