Patients suffering from debilitating illnesses often experience financial hardships at a time when stress management is essential for successful recovery. While the overall cost-savings of telehealth was established decades ago, current refinements of that research are shedding light on the specifics of cost savings with people diagnosed with a particular disorder. Since COVID, an increasing amount of funding has been available from federal and other sources to identify the areas of greatest success with telehealth.
A January 10, 2023 journal article about the cost savings of using telehealth with non-elderly cancer patients was reported in the JAMA Open Network. Researchers Patel, Turner, Tabriz and colleagues conducted a cost-evaluation of telehealth with 11,688 patients between 18- 65 years old. These patients received a total of 25, 496 telehealth visits at a National Cancer Institute–Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Patient travel, time, and cost savings associated with telehealth for cancer care delivery were examined.
Discussion of Telehealth Cost Savings
Telehealth was associated with an estimated $1,170,160 savings in lost productivity (income) due to driving time, $467,247 savings in lost productivity due to visit time, and $1,637,407 total savings in lost productivity. More specifically, telehealth was associated with a total savings of:
- Travel miles. The researchers reported a savings of 3,789, 963 roundtrip travel miles (equates to traveling 152.2 times around the earth),
- Drive Hours. A savings of 75,055 roundtrip drive hours, (equates to 8.6 calendar years).
They also calculated a telehealth cost savings of 3.4 calendar years (29,626 hours) in clinic visits by using telehealth. Those hours are differentiated as delineated below per visit:
- Lost productivity. A loss of work productivity per visit due to driving time ranged from $44.1 to $54.1. A mean savings in lost productivity per visit due to visit time ranged from $17.3 to $23.1.
- Total savings….
From Telebehavioral Health Institute – Read More