When we think of Seniors, we are not usually not thinking of eager adopters of technology. If you are one of the many who have spent hours on the phone with an aging parent or loved one trying to explain how to work something as simple as the remote to the television, you are not likely to see telehealth for Seniors as a viable option in Geriatric healthcare. Yet, it is quickly gaining favorability on all sides.
When the idea of telehealth for Seniors became a real talking point in digital health circles, it was largely scoffed at as the great idea for the silver tsunami that would never make it past the first break to shore. This would mindset would mainly stem from the misconception that Seniors don’t like technology and never will. This notion is proving to be false, according to recent surveys of those over the age of 65 in America. A surprising 42% of Seniors report having and using a smartphone. Additionally, a whopping 67% use the Internet.
These figures aren’t just right, they are rising. This is great news for digital health companies trying to make their way into the Senior health market. Telehealth for Seniors looks to be a promising addition to in-home health care.
Telehealth For Seniors Benefits Both The Insurer And The Patient
Now that we have our mind around the idea that telehealth for Seniors would be utilized by this growing demographic, why do they want to? There is more than one reason for this question, which means the opportunities to grow this segment of digital health are promising.
Getting Medical Help Off-Hours: Acute medical concerns very often do not fit themselves into regularly scheduled hours of doctor’s offices. When the need for medical advice or examination arises off-hours, Seniors end up visiting the Emergency Room to seek out medical care. There are lots of great reasons to take yourself to the Emergency Room, but for concerns that do not require immediate attention, this incurs unnecessary expenses for both the patient and the health insurers they subscribe to.
Telehealth for Seniors provides a way for Seniors to get real-time medical consultation when their primary care physician is not readily available, or their needs do not warrant a trip to the Emergency Room. The confidence in knowing that sound medical advice is just a video call away is enough reason for Seniors to realize the value of telehealth services. The convenience, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of telehealth for Seniors cannot be ignored.
Cost-Effectiveness Is Key For Insurers: If Medicare and CMS can see the value in telehealth for Seniors, then it must be true; telehealth services save insurers and patients money. Medicare is now approving the use of telehealth for Seniors starting in 2020. This is excellent news for their subscribers as well. The copays of Emergency Room visits are steep, anywhere from $50 to $100. Most Seniors are not financially capable of covering trips to the Emergency Room, and Medicare is not always guaranteed to waive your ER copayments, even if you are admitted to the hospital. Telehealth for Seniors is beneficial in keeping the costs of acute care needs low, and helping Seniors understand if their medical concern requires Emergency Room intervention. Insurers like Medicare like the assurance that there is another layer of approval before their subscriber shows up in the ER.
Time Savings Will Be A Welcome Change For All: We can all agree that visiting the Emergency Room is seldom a fast process. Emergency Rooms see patients for lots of different reasons, and triage is a critical indicator of how fast you will be seen. Patients with emergent or critical needs take precedence over patients with illnesses that are not life-threatening. Why go to the ER if you don’t have to? Telehealth for Seniors saves time by being able to triage medical needs over the phone, often keeping the patient at home and assured their needs will be met by utilizing other levels of care.
How Will Telehealth Services For Seniors Connect With The Rest Of Medical Care Teams?
A worthy question that often comes up with services that fall out of a health network is how the information collected by that entity will efficiently sync up with a patient’s medical network. Hospitals have their own EHR, doctor’s offices have another. How will the doctor know their patient consulted with a telehealth system and seamlessly make use of all the information collected during that consult?
eCare Vault is the first solution of its kind to be completely EHR agnostic and yet fully HIPAA compliant. A secure cloud-based system connects telehealth services to doctors and more. When time and information is of the essence, eCare Vault shines through as the trusted resource for information management and medical workflow management, so everyone has the right information at the right time.
If you’d like to know more about how eCare Vault can raise the bar on telehealth for Seniors, schedule a demo today to be on the forefront of telehealth services when Medicare starts approving telehealth claims in 2020.