First: The Price of Admission. Whether it is the whole cost of the visit or just the copay amount, dollars leave our wallets.
Second: TIME. Travelling to the office, waiting our turn and then time travelling back. Most of this time must be committed during work hours which makes it even more costly. If we are paid hourly or have to use sick time we can quantify that cost directly, others cannot. But can we measure the change in management perception of us when we disappear during work hours while others do not? Does our “personal stock” diminish in value the more time we miss? Is there a chance this will impact on possible promotion and business opportunity? You betcha.
Third: Possible Future Care. Many of us think twice before going to a waiting room full of sick people who may share with us germs that we are not already fighting off.
So, we decide to tough it out and not take time off to go to the doctor. Our visible symptoms are not appreciated by our co-workers and some will wonder at our decision-making ability. Worse yet, if we have a condition that is not improving it may lead to serious consequences later. Postponement of care is rarely a good idea as most of us are not hypochondriacs.
Enter the world of tele-medicine. Many consider this a great option when they are away from home when care is needed. Some have jumped in for the convenience, cost saving and protection from cross-pollinating illnesses in a waiting room. Others just feel too sick to drive to the doctor’s office or dealing with the stress of deciding whether to chance a car accident or just lying in bed not doing anything.
Not designed to replace traditional care provided by physicians, tele-medicine options are offered to reduce the misuse of emergency rooms as well as to encourage simple care that is often postponed. As the cost of medical care increases, premiums go up and benefits for office visits become less rich, tele-medicine options will become more prevalent. Our time becomes increasingly valuable as our work performance is continuously compared to our co-workers. I believe that tele-medicine options are only the beginning of the many changes we will see in how our medical care is delivered to us.
Keep an open mind to the healthcare options you hear and read about. What looks odd today may become a piece of the solution to the galloping inflation rate of the cost of medical services. We all need to look outside of our comfort zone for alternative options of care distribution. Please call us at CDA Inc. if you have questions about how this type of benefit might complement your current health insurance plan. We are here to help!