With levels of private debt in the United States sitting at worryingly high levels, people need to save money now more than ever. Americans need to budget, and many need to tighten their belts. Many economic forecasters predict that with increased longevity and low savings rates, there may be a pension crisis looming. Millions of people may be heading towards an old age in which their pension pots will not support a comfortable lifestyle. A lot of Americans could end up having to do paid work far beyond traditional retirement age, and perhaps even until they die. In this climate, money-saving has to be a priority. Medical bills are a particularly huge drain on the finances of millions of Americans – but fortunately, the benefits of telemedicine have arrived on the scene, and just in the nick of time!
Telemedicine is often a much cheaper treatment option than traditional medicine. Using telemedicine, a patient can save big bucks by choosing the best value medical treatment from a much larger pool of options. Telemedicine can also save people money on transport and travel, as well as allowing them to not take unnecessary time off work. Telemedicine has come to the rescue of many financially hard-up Americans who need all the money-saving help they can get.
Here are five money-saving benefits of telemedicine.
Telemedicine Provides More Choice
The more options a consumer has, the better price they are almost certain to get for a service. Telemedicine provides patients with much more choice than ever before. Patients can now choose medical professionals in different localities, cities, and even countries. One of the biggest benefits of telemedicine is that it allows patients to shop around and find the best possible value. The fact that customers can consult with doctors anywhere in the world is forcing medical professionals, in general, to be more competitive with their pricing. Telemedicine gives patients much more choice, and this increased choice can provide massive money-saving benefits.
Telemedicine Decreases Travel Expenses
Traveling to and from medical consultations can cost a lot of money. People often need to consult with specialist doctors that are located far away – in different towns, cities, or even states. Traveling to and from an in-person medical consultation costs money, either in gas and vehicle maintenance or in public transport costs. Often a person will need to fly for a number of hours to get to the location where a specialist is located. That’s where another of the benefits of telemedicine comes in: it allows patients to consult with medical professionals in any location remotely using telecommunications technology. Being able to consult with a doctor from the comfort of your own home is much more economical and saves a lot of money in travel expenses.
Telemedicine Means Less Time Off Work
Visiting a medical professional in-person is a time-consuming undertaking. When travel times and queuing at the surgery are taken into account, a visit to a medical professional can take many hours, and sometimes even a whole day. When an in-person consultation takes this long it often means that the patient needs to take time off work, even if their medical condition does not actually necessitate any time off. This time off work often means a loss of earnings. One of the greatest benefits of telemedicine is that it allows people to save a lot of time by consulting with a medical professional remotely. This means it also saves people money by making it less necessary for them to take forced time off work.
Telemedicine Breaks Up Expensive Local Monopolies
Telemedicine opens up the market. In times gone by, many localities were served by only one or a small few medical practitioners. This meant that the more unscrupulous doctors could charge higher fees because their patients had no choice but to pay them. Patients in small towns were often at the mercy of a monopoly, duopoly, or cabal. Telemedicine has made this type of unfortunate situation all but impossible. Telemedicine gives patients such a wide range of choice that they can easily take their business elsewhere if their local doctor is charging too much. This means that, in practice, no local doctor can afford to charge too much. By breaking up local monopolies, telemedicine has saved a lot of people a lot of money.
Telemedicine Is Getting Cheaper All the Time
Not only does telemedicine allow for all of the aforementioned money-saving opportunities, but it also is getting cheaper and cheaper in and of itself. Modern technological devices are getting cheaper as the technology becomes more advanced and easier to mass-produce. Smartphones and tablets are cheaper now than ever before. There are myriad high-quality telemedicine apps vying for the public’s attention, and this fierce competition drives prices lower and lower. The technology space in general, and the telemedicine space in particular, are highly competitive. Some of the best and brightest minds on Earth are working hard to develop the most cost-effective and best value technologies and apps. This is wonderful news for the consumer. Telemedicine is getting cheaper all the time, and this rapid progress brings excellent money-saving benefits to patients.