COVID-19 has brought telehealth to the forefront. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, telehealth is remote health care that does not always involve clinical services. This remote delivery of medical care has been critical in delivering clinical services to the millions of Americans managing chronic conditions, and has been key in the safe management of the current pandemic.
Despite its growing popularity, the conversation around telehealth among those in HR has pretty much stayed the same. In his article “6 Tips for changing the telemedicine conversation” Jake Cleer offers some ways to shift the discussion to one of building an effective and successful program.
Make it relatable
Help employees understand how to use telehealth services. Oftentimes benefits, like telehealth, go unused because employees don’t know how to use it or why it’s beneficial for them. Use telehealth yourself and share your story of how telehealth assisted with a cold while on vacation or sent in a prescription for your child in the middle of the night. Be clear on how this benefit will save them money in co-pays, and how they can use it in their day to day lives.
Implementing telehealth means asking employees to change their healthcare behavior. The harder a benefit is to access, the less likely people are to use it. Make sure access information is housed in the same place as other benefit information. The NexGen EAP app allows employees to access all of their benefit information and communication in one place.
Expand your organization’s conversation around telehealth by expanding the program to include telebehavioral health, dermatology, and second opinions. Mental health is critically important. Some employees may be hesitant to use any service associated with mental health because of the stigma surrounding it. Expanding your program to include more than just mental health services, will increase utilization.
As much as possible, remove fees. Organizations that had higher utilization also had median copays below $20. When employees have nothing to lose, they’re likely to give telehealth a chance. Separating your company’s telehealth offering from the health plan is another way to shift the conversation around the benefit. This move keeps telehealth from getting lost in the insurance spotlight. Don’t forget to keep your employees engaged with the telehealth offering. Promote it at benefit fairs, through webinars, posters, and other effective communication methods.
eni’s NexGen EAP has recently partnered with MeMD to offer telehealth services. This partnership means that employees will have access to the quality care delivered through MeMD via the NexGen mobile app. MeMD will be easily accessible through the NexGen EAP app, and additional promotional materials are being provided to existing clients to engage their employees. Separate from employer health insurance, MeMD through NexGen EAP removes the copay for employees.