Facing ever shrinking budgets and an increasing number of students each year, our schools are struggling to find ways to cut costs. More school districts are turning to self-funded health plans to save money. Unfortunately this still leaves the problem of high emergency room utilization impacting the school districts’ claims data and resulting in continually high costs, and higher out of pocket costs for our teachers. The below case studies will show how telemedicine made a difference for two schools.
Telemedicine can solve both of these problems. AllyHealth provides a $0 cost per consult service with 24/7/365 access to US Board Certified Physicians. This means lower out of picket costs for teachers and lower Emergency Room and Urgent Care claims for school districts.
The Case Study:
Two school districts in New York implemented telemedicine to their employees. The districts provided the service to their employees as an employer paid benefit. The results were astounding and prove that telemedicine made a difference.
The first district, the larger of the two, consisted of 290 members. The second district was much smaller and consisted of only 65 members. Both districts had implemented self-funded health plans but were still experiencing high emergency room an urgent care utilization rates. Teachers also were faced with higher out of pocket costs due to higher co-pays and deductibles.
AllyHealth telemedicine was implemented in both cases with compete buy in from the school districts. Dedicated account managers worked with the group administrators in each district to provide education, information and assistance to employees on the Allyhealth telemedicine service, account activation and access, to engage members and drive utilization.
The result was a 44.43% utilization rate for the larger district. They were able to redirect approximately 21 emergency room visits, 53 urgent care visits and 44 primary care doctor visits to the AllyHealth telemedicine service. The result was a savings of $84,716 the first year! That means that the school district, after 1 year of providing telemedicine to their employees, was able to reallocate over $80,000 to other areas that needed it.
The second, smaller, district showed a 33.84% utilization rate. They were able to redirect approximately 1 emergency room visits, 5 urgent care visits and 10 primary care doctor visits to the AllyHealth telemedicine service. The result was a savings of approximately $8,000. A district of this size could use those additional funds to buy a few new computers or make needed repairs.
The average utilization for most telemedicine services is under 5%. AllyHealth is typically able to drive far higher utilization for our clients due to our focus on driving awareness and education through coordinated promotion campaigns and through our robust account management program that delivers a high level of service after the sale. Through these strategies and more, we are able to achieve some of the highest utilization rates in the industry, as you can see through the two examples outlined in this article.
Telemedicine made a difference for these two schools. Every year our schools are fighting to find funding to provide a quality education to their students with less help from the federal, state and local levels. The money that telemedicine can save school districts can be used to purchase new books, make needed repairs, and buy new computers and equipment that enhanced the education experience for their students. Our future depends on a healthy and well educated society. Telemedicine is working to ensure that our future is bright.