News & Blog

Telehealth is on the rise

By Chris Logan, Founder and CEO of Capsci Health

We’ve been talking about the ways in which telehealth can improve both care and the bottom line, and recent claims data is backing up my expectation.

Not only has usage become more widespread; it has nearly doubled. Telehealth is becoming more and more mainstream, expanding in both location and diagnosis type. With rates of growth in urban areas steadily climbing, it will soon cease to be a predominantly rural phenomenon.

Providers are also reporting an increasingly diverse range of telehealth diagnoses. The fastest growing are acute respiratory infections and urinary tract infections, both examples of how a patient can get treatment via telehealth faster than they would by seeing a doctor in person. (Mental disorders and back pain are other notable growth areas.)

An increase in state laws encouraging telehealth is at least partially responsible for this uptick in usage, as well as a (related) increase in employer coverage. We’ll be watching for more of the same in coming years.

We’re seeing proof that telehealth is a necessary and effective way to meet a widespread need. Expect more and more insights into how telehealth is changing medicine as additional data becomes available.


The epidemic of ER overuse

By Chris Logan, Founder and CEO of Capsci Health

According to the latest stats, 20% of us went to the ER one or more times in 2012. And many of those made more than one visit in the year. That’s alarming.

January 1st of 2014 is when the ACA’s requirements for carrying health insurance went into effect but, as expected, the rate of visits to the ER is still too high. In fact, 75% of emergency room physicians polled say that since 2014, the number of ER visits has increased to some degree.

If too many use the ER for non-emergent issues, it dilutes the quality of care for those who really need it. So, how do we avoid defaulting to the ER frame of mind?
1) Make sure everyone is informed about their choices: set up a PCP visit, call the nurse hotline, set up a telehealth visit, go to the Urgent Care, etc.
2) Make sure everyone understands the financial implications. An ER visit costs the system more, whether you’re the patient, the insurance company, or the employers purchasing insurance.

Keeping our employees and health plan participants informed is critical to improving our health care situation.