Workplace Wellness

An Employer’s Guide To Offering Virtual Care To Remote Employees

Written by Kate

With the emergence of telecommuting and flexible work arrangements, more and more employees choose to work from home. While this trend has many benefits for both employers and employees, one overlooked area is the ins and outs of ensuring care for employees who aren’t physically present in the office.

Employees working from home also need a way to obtain medical attention, and companies need a reliable way to ensure that their employees receive healthcare services without interruption.

This doctor conducts a remote consultation, and provides online medical assistance.

What is virtual care?

Virtual care allows you to provide medical support to remote teams and access to a physician’s assistance through phone or videoconference. It offers the following benefits for companies and their employees:

  • No insurance barriers: Virtual care doesn’t require additional medical insurance beyond your team’s existing coverage. Today, 26 states have laws requiring private insurers to reimburse healthcare providers’ teleconsultation fees. (1)
  • 24/7 care: Your employees can immediately receive assistance outside of office hours when their illnesses escalate quickly or when they develop certain conditions like allergies or heat stroke.
  • Convenience: Virtual care is far more convenient than visiting an urgent care facility, especially for those residing in remote areas.
  • Lower costs: Virtual care reduces associated costs with office visits and urgent care visits for employers and employees alike. On average, a telehealth consultation may range from 40USD-50USD, while an in-person visit costs around 150USD-200USD. (2)
  • Assured continuity of care: With virtual care in place, employers don’t need to worry about hiring a temporary replacement if a team member misses work for an extended period of time. Physicians can assist remotely while maintaining continuity of care for your team.

How to set up virtual care

Setting up virtual care requires careful planning. You can use this guide if you’re ready to build a custom telemedicine platform for your employees. It provides a list of things to consider before setting up the telemedicine practice side of your business.

Essentially, employers need to define the requirements for telemedicine in their companies, identify what technology they can use, assess their needs for medical support personnel, and determine regulatory issues that may affect care.

Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Define your telemedicine requirements

The first step in setting up virtual care is determining what you need the telemedicine service to accomplish. For example, if your teams are frequently on the road, they may benefit from receiving virtual visits while away on business. If a team member has a chronic condition or a history of frequent illness, it’s best to have a primary care physician monitor their condition and recommend treatments.

2. Identify the technology you can use

You can use different types of telemedicine technology for virtual care visits—from hardware and software to platforms and applications. Consider the benefits and limitations of each before investing in one.

3. Consider medical support personnel needs

Another variable for you to consider is the need for medical support personnel. Employers usually hire these professionals directly but may also work with a third-party vendor specializing in telemedicine staffing. If you’re planning to do the latter, ensure that they can maintain HIPAA compliance.

4. Understand legal and regulatory requirements

Research to be sure that virtual care is legal and compliant with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Look into possible compliance issues, including the requirement for receiving pre-authorization from insurance companies before making virtual visits.

5. Train your team on virtual care

Once you’ve set up a telemedicine platform, you need to ensure your employees know how it works. Teaching them about virtual care can help prevent confusion during an online visit. Provide instructions for your teams for downloading the telemedicine app, creating an account, and requesting a visit.

What to expect?

Here are some of the results you can expect from the successful implementation and management of a virtual care platform for your remote teams:

Virtual care and patient engagement

Virtual care can help with patient engagement in several ways. For example, your teams will be encouraged to get healthcare access without missing work for a visit. They can also receive treatment sooner and faster instead of waiting in line for an appointment. You can also gauge satisfaction of your service, through patient survey questions. Finally, because it’s accessible, they’ll be more likely to seek treatment before their symptoms worsen.

Remote care for employees increases team productivity

Having access to virtual care can give employers a competitive advantage by increasing their productivity and lowering their overall healthcare costs.

Team satisfaction and engagement will increase

Healthy employees are happy employees. With greater access to healthcare at work, morale is also likely to increase. Teams who are more engaged in their health take more responsibility for their well-being, leading to a happier workforce overall.

Final Thoughts

As telemedicine technology becomes more popular, employers find that virtual care is ideal offers numerous advantages for the company and their employees. By implementing a custom telemedicine platform, employers can provide medical care to employees while increasing productivity and lowering healthcare costs.

(1) “Will My Insurance Cover Telemedicine?”, Source:
(2) “Telehealth Benefits: The Pros and Cons for Patients”, Source:

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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