More than 500 rural hospitals in the U.S. are facing an immediate risk of closure. Financial losses and a lack of financial reserves are having a devastating effect on healthcare resilience. In fact, 25% or more of rural hospitals in 21 states are under immediate danger and at least one rural hospital in almost every state is under imminent danger of collapse.
These statistics are daunting, showing the urgent crises being faced by today’s rural hospitals. But the issue isn’t stopping there. Physician shortages are creating a rising deficit of healthcare access in both rural and metropolitan areas alike throughout the country and new solutions are required – fast.
Telemedicine is one of the key ways hospitals can overcome this crisis. Not only can telemedicine increase the hospital’s bottom line by lowering costs and improving physician access, it also helps to retain patients and increase the specialty services hospitals can offer to the communities they serve. When used effectively, telemedicine can also benefit patient health outcomes while building healthcare resilience and the longer-term opportunity for financial sustainability.
Learn more in our upcoming webinar:
Consider these top telemedicine financial advantages:
Greater Access to Care Keeps Patients in House
By using telemedicine hospitals can deliver better access to care, including acute care services after hours as well as to an expanded set of specialties. This keeps patients in-house, limiting transfers to other facilities so that hospitals don’t see their patients, and revenue, walking out the door because they can’t be efficiently or adequately served.
Fractional Physician Support Lowers Care Costs
Recruiting to add additional physicians to support care services is costly, and challenging. In many cases, full time physicians aren’t needed to fill in for the occasional gap in service. Telemedicine can lower this overall cost of care by enabling peak-time coverage on-demand and only when needed. This frees the overhead hospitals may have invested to recruit and retain an additional on-staff physicians, particularly when there is only a part-time need.
New Specialty Services Increase Higher-Priced Offerings
By using specialty telemedicine services, hospitals that may not have otherwise been able to offer access to high revenue producing specialty services can. With access to on-demand endocrinologists, hematologists or oncologists for example, hospitals are able to deliver an increased level of care, and keep the revenues, without these higher-cost services leaking out to another facility.
Telemedicine for Healthcare Resilience
For hospitals, there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” answer to ensuring healthcare resilience. To help rural, as well as metropolitan, hospitals achieve long-term financial sustainability and even growth, telemedicine should be considered for optimal care efficiency, lowering costs and increasing revenue potential.
Learn more about Eagle Telemedicine’s approach to improving the hospital’s bottom line in this solution brief. Then contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help drive your hospital’s resilience.