After researching and reviewing the many benefits telemedicine has to offer organizations, your team has decided it’s time to launch your own virtual health program. That’s great! But as the HR or benefits manager, you’re the one tasked with finding the best telemedicine service. Investopedia states it is absolutely essential to do your research before choosing a vendor and, luckily, we’ve got you covered with several important considerations that will help you make the best choice.
1. Location of Providers
Real estate agents have a point when they remind their customers that everything is about location, location, location! While telemedicine is used virtually, it’s important to be aware of where the service’s providers are located. We strongly believe that healthcare should be local. Doctors in your area know what is going around (especially during cold and flu season), are better able to treat patients when they are aware of their patients’ surroundings and can actually help your employees navigate the local healthcare system if they don’t yet have a “medical home”.
2. Availability of Providers
You’ll also want to make sure the telemedicine vendor offers your company a swath of on-demand, dedicated providers so your employees won’t be forced to wait when they want to chat with a doctor. For example, some vendors offer a model similar to Uber, the popular rideshare service, where doctors accept patients based on the amount of money they’ll receive for that specific consult. This results in not enough doctors available at all times, which can create longer waits for your employees.
3. Utilization Rates
As you probably guessed, the service isn’t going to do anything to help your company if your employees aren’t using it. When you are vetting a telemedicine vendor, it’s best to ask about their utilization rate among the employees of other businesses – especially those that are similar in size to your own. Those that have higher rates tend to have a number of other benefits, such as a good ‘bedside’ manner, excellent customer service, and an easy-to-use interface. In addition to the actual service, vendors who provide marketing support will support employee engagement at regular intervals.
4. Care Coordination
According to Forbes, telemedicine offers a number of benefits when it comes to providing in-home healthcare, including simple answers to minor questions and care for people in rural locations. But let’s say that one of your employees does need follow-up care in person. Will the vendor be able to help them coordinate this care in a location and with a provider that suits them and takes their insurance? When patients are required to get follow-on care with no additional support, it leaves them in a vulnerable position with added wait times lack of resources.
5. Custom Pricing Packages
Your company is different from every other company. The number of employees you have, the type of work they do, and the cost of their healthcare all informs the kind of telemedicine package you will need. In addition to offering different benefit packages, your ideal vendor should also offer custom pricing for each. After all, your small business shouldn’t take on the same financial burden to insure 30 people as a company that has 1,000 employees.
6. Marketing Help
Your job is to provide cost-effective, beneficial healthcare to your company’s employees, not to market the telemedicine service to those employees. As such, you’re going to want to find a vendor that has its own marketing team and outreach plan that will provide your employees with information about the service.
7. Implementation Strategy
When choosing a vendor, it’s important to make sure yours has a strategy for putting their service into effect at your business. This means the vendor should offer in-person visits, regular newsletters, contests, and/or other tactics to achieve high utilization rates among your employees.
8. Reporting and Analytics
Ask your soon-to-be vendor if they regularly check to see how often employees are engaging with the service, as well as if they offer surveys in order to obtain employee feedback. Without this information, you won’t be able to find out what your employees like and don’t like about the service and how you and the vendor can work together to make improvements.
Choose Your Telemedicine Vendor Wisely
All telemedicine vendors are not created equal, and choosing the right one is essential to a successful program. Your employees deserve health benefits that work, which is why your company is implementing this service in the first place, so make sure you take your time and choose the vendor that checks all the boxes.
The good news is that RelyMD checks all the boxes above, ready to learn more? Contact us to learn how 24/7 access to virtual healthcare can help.
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