Telemedicine advocates have long been expounding the savings of reduced or eliminated travel for patients, and a new study has proven that these savings are real.
In Vermont, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs‘ use of telemedicine for mental health patients at its White River Junction facility resulted in travel payment savings of roughly $18,555 each year, on average, between 2005 and 2013, according to a recent study. During this time period, the volume of telemedicine services grew significantly; by the end of the study, the final year alone logged travel savings of $63,804—approximately 3.5 percent of the year’s total travel pay.
The telemedicine cost savings resulted from eliminating an average of 145 miles of travel and 142 minutes per visit, which lead to the payment reductions.
A previous study has shown that telemedicine can used effectively for delivering mental health services; among older veterans with depression, there was no significant difference in the benefits gained from telemedicine therapy sessions as compared to in-person therapy.
With VA-related travel pay approaching an estimated $1 billion each year, even a 3.5 percent savings for mental health treatments can make a big difference.
To learn more about how swyMed can be used for mental health services, contact us today!