Survey: 93% of telehealth calls can replace trips to doctors or ERs


First Stop Health revealed results of a survey showing that 93% of all phone consults with doctors helped patients avoid expensive and time-consuming trips to doctors’ offices or emergency rooms (ERs). The company provides immediate, 24/7/365 phone and online access to more than 370 U.S.-based, board-certified physicians licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“When you think about the expenses and time involved in making an appointment, traveling to a doctor’s office, waiting to see the doctor and paying a copay or deductible, avoiding all of that is a huge benefit to users of telehealth services,” said Dr. Mark Friedman, First Stop Health’s chief medical officer. “This is truly what consumer-driven health care is about.”

Unlike most competing services that charge per (virtual) visit, First Stop Health sells its service as a monthly subscription that includes unlimited usage for members and their families. The company supports both individuals and employers.

Currently, about 5% of employees in the United States have a telemedicine benefit provided by their employers. A recent study by Towers Watson found that next year, 37% of employers surveyed expect to offer their employees telemedicine consultations as a low-cost alternative to emergency room or physician office visits for nonemergency health issues.