Lastly, physicians are able to offer expanded hours of availability when providing video visits. Whether it is seeing patients during their lunch hour or late from home on Wednesdays, with telemedicine, physicians have more flexibility to see patients due to the reduced barriers surrounding patient and physician location. This flexibility nets significant savings when a patient who had to cancel is suddenly able to attend their normally scheduled visit time or simply move their visit to an after-hour time via the power of video.
Now, let's assume that conservatively under telemedicine, a physician can see an additional four patients a day over video visits, with an average charge of $60 per visit. Over the course of a year, this process would net the physician an additional $62,000 in practice revenue. One study found that a practice was able to save its patients nearly $3 million in travel costs over the nine years it had been offering telemedicine, with the average patient saving four hours per year in travel time. With financial benefits available to both patients and physicians, it is no wonder why telemedicine is in such high demand.
A doctor’s time is invaluable, and the crisis of time is no longer an expense we can afford to waste on administrative duties or inefficient patient visits. Equally, a patient’s time should not be overlooked, as the transition to urgent care shows a growing consumer demand for on-demand care.
By improving the efficiency of a visit for patient and physician, we can transition to a system of care which is more patient-centered and empowers physicians to focus on treatment and diagnosis. The televisit is enabling visits to occur faster than ever before, and as a result, will produce a more efficient and effective healthcare system.