Physician Practice

Study says telemedicine increases health costs

Physician Practice Perspective, April 14, 2017

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While proponents promote telemedicine as a way to reduce costs, a new study suggests telemedicine may actually generate higher healthcare costs when offered as an alternative to face-to-face visits.

The study, released in March by RAND Corporation and published in Health Affairs, analyzed the behavior of more than 300,000 people with access to telemedicine services and found they spent an average of $45 more per year than patients without access to telemedicine. The study authors concluded that access to telemedicine generates additional physician visits and the use of services that patients would not have otherwise pursued.

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