Telemedicine during coronavirus

Continued health coverage, paid sick leave, financial wellness programs and more take the spotlight in wake of COVID-19.
By: | March 23, 2020 • 1 min read
Topics: Uncategorized
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Many large employers already offer access to virtual healthcare through their plans, and they should actively urge their workers to take advantage of that benefit, experts say.

Telemedicine benefits are vital to keeping employees safe from exposure to COVID-19. It is especially helpful for those who can work offsite or while in quarantine at home, explains Gigi Sorenson, chief clinical officer of GlobalMed, a telehealth provider.

Related: Why telehealth should be a priority for employers

“If a doctor feels the employee needs to be tested, they can advise the way to go about it. If their symptoms are critical, they can make arrangements for them to be transported and seen at a higher level, all [while] keeping exposure at a minimum,” she says. “The overarching purpose is that telemedicine can offer both infection containment and treatment without exposing others to an infection.”

For employees who must work during this time at a brick-and-mortar facility—such as airports—and are at a higher risk for exposure, “telemedicine stations can be set up at the facility for patients to reach a healthcare provider without having to drive to the doctor’s clinic and exposing other patients in a waiting room,” Sorenson says.

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Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.