Walmart is allowing its employees to see a provider for only $4 but the visitation has to be through telemedicine, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Increased technological innovations and looser regulations have allowed for larger companies to embrace and adopt telemedicine and virtual care. Still, the uptake remains relatively low—the most recent statistics show that in 2017, only 8 percent of eligible employees used telemedicine at least once.
Though adoption is slow, research estimates that telemedicine visits in the country will increase exponentially from $23 million in 2017 to $105 million in 2022.
The barriers to telemedicine adoption include age and emotion. Some elderly patients just prefer an in-person consultation, whereas younger patients may feel telemedicine is a timesaver and works within the constraints of their schedules. Furthermore, if a child is sick, parents may want “the best care right away,” and telemedicine may not be their choice of care.
So why are employers gravitating toward telemedicine? For one, virtual visits reduce time spent away from their desk and can also cost a fraction of in-person visits.
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