Telehealth or In-Person – Which Costs More?

A recent study by Michigan Medicine just broke down the telehealth numbers and the results may surprise you.

Some aspects of telehealth may lead to higher costs for hospitals, while others may save money.

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While there are a lot of variables in both telehealth and in-person visits, the study looked at the average times and costs.

Overall, physicians spent more time with the patient during telehealth appointments. On average, physicians’ face-to-face time was 3.6 minutes longer than in-person visits.

Physician-led visits also cost the health system an average of 42 cents more for virtual visits.

There is also an argument to be made that convenience of telehealth appointments could lead to fewer no-shows and cancelations, but the study found that the percentages of cancelations were similar. There were less no-shows virtually, but the difference was only 3% of visits, dropping from 8% to 5%.

More patients completed their appointments in person.

For patients, the average length of appointments were only 24 minutes for telehealth, compared to the 80 minute time for in-person visits.

The length of visit for patients may lead to the frequency of future visits, as patients are often frustrated with the lengths of doctor visits.

Have you utilized telehealth in your office? Have your findings been similar to the Michigan Medicine study?

Let us know by commenting below!

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