Lengthy-term use of telemedicine anticipated: WCRI – Enterprise Insurance
Just two years ago of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine usage and access will continue booming, according to John Ruser, President and CEO of the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
Legislative and regulatory measures at federal and state level continue to deal with the procedure and reimbursement of telemedical services.
"In view of the still-to-be-seen future of telemedicine, the use and prices of medical services provided via telemedicine remain important measures to monitor employee compensation," said Ruser in a statement.
In a new report, WCRI looked at how telemedical services are used in employee compensation and the prices paid for these services, and found that the cost was comparable to that of face-to-face care.
The report "Telemedicine: Usage Patterns and Reimbursement" found significant differences between states in the proportion of claims that had their first visit to a doctor through telemedicine rather than in person, ranging from 1% to 11%.
In a typical state, about 4% of appraisal and administration applications had their first telemedicine visit, the report said. When assessing workers with sprains and strains, 6% initiated their assessment and management care through telemedicine, compared with 3% of workers with traumatic injuries.
WCRI notes that the setting of the initial assessment and management service is an important factor in explaining the use of telemedicine for follow-up services. When a patient had their first visit to the doctor through telemedicine, approximately 65% of all follow-up visits for that patient were conducted through telemedicine. In contrast, only 3% of all follow-up examinations for patients with first visits were carried out telemedically on average.