Top 5 Reasons Providers are Flocking to Telemedicine

top 5 reasons providers are flocking to telemedicine

 

Have you heard of the street corner experiment

The premise is simple: Someone stands at a street corner and stares up into the sky, with the goal of seeing how many people stop and join them. After a while, a small crowd inevitably gathers, all curiously staring at the sky wondering, “What do they see?”

In some respects, the massive rush of providers flocking to practice telemedicine feels a lot like the street corner experiment. With nearly 50% of providers now practicing telemedicine, an increase of 18% since 2018, many providers are stopping and wondering, “What do they see with telemedicine?”

There’s no reason to stop and stare. Whether you’re a new provider curious about practicing telemedicine or a seasoned professional with years of in-person practice, here are the top 5 reasons that providers are flocking to telemedicine.

1. Flexibility

One of the main advantages of telemedicine is the convenience and flexibility. Without the need to see patients in person, providers can treat patients in their spare time without having to work around busy schedules or take additional leave from work. For providers with children, telemedicine removes the burden of having to arrange childcare because you can see patients at home.

Likewise, the ability to practice medicine from the comfort of home is also appealing. After all, it’s easier to tackle errands and chores between appointments when your office is a few steps away from the living room.  

2. Work-Life Balance

Similar to improved flexibility, telemedicine provides a better work-life balance for most providers. Without the need to commute to an office, providers have more time to invest in the things they love, like time with family, traveling, or ambitions outside of healthcare. There’s also no need to live near a hospital because providers can treat patients from anywhere. That means they can relocate to a city or town that better aligns with their interests, while still practicing medicine.  

3. See More Patients

It’s a simple formula: The more patients you see equals more revenue for your practice, and telemedicine enhances patient care by enabling providers to see more patients. Telemedicine removes the friction and delay between patient handoffs and enables providers to treat patients outside of regular business hours, including weekends. Similarly, telemedicine provides opportunities to see patients outside of their geographic region or even across state lines.

The additional patient volume may improve your bottom line, but it also translates to savings for the patient. Over an 18-year period, UC Davis Health in Sacramento discovered that telemedicine collectively saved its patients nearly $3 million in associated costs with the reduced travel time. Similarly, Oregon Health & Science University found that patients saved nearly $6.4 million in travel costs by choosing telemedicine over an in-person visit.

4. Additional Income

For many providers, the motivation to practice telemedicine is purely a financial one. Which, is understandable, considering the average pay of a telemedicine physician is $216,958. The additional income can be used to pay down mortgages, save for their children’s college fund, or to simply squirrel away money for a rainy day or a family vacation. Whatever the reason, the advantage of practicing telemedicine is that it allows you the flexibility to utilize your free time as an additional source of income to pursue various ambitions.

5. Maintain Skills 

“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”

In other words, telemedicine enables providers to keep their skills sharp, even if they’re current position doesn’t allow them to use all the skills they acquired while in school. Additionally, certain certifications require providers to practice a minimum number of hours to stay certified. Practicing telemedicine enables these providers to maintain their skills, while enjoying the added benefit of earning additional income.

Providers are flocking to telemedicine. Whether it’s the additional income, added flexibility, or improved work-life balance, the surge in provider adoption is not something you should simply stand back and stare at. If you’re interested in pursuing telemedicine, reach out today and learn more about the benefits of joining the VirtualMed Staff team. Or visit our new TeleJobs board and see what positions we have available!