Unconventional Approach to Telehealth Disrupts Industry

First Stop Health Turns Traditional Telehealth Model on Its Head With High Utilization

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| Source: First Stop Health

CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Telehealth and advocacy service provider First Stop Health is disrupting its industry with utilization rates that are more than three times higher than rates claimed by other providers.

The company -- which provides immediate, 24/7/365 phone and online access to more than 370 U.S.-based, board-certified physicians -- reported that its corporate clients (who provide First Stop Health services to their employees) have an average utilization rate of 40 percent.

"We are obsessed with getting our members to benefit from the convenience and cost savings that come with access to telemedicine," said First Stop Health co-founder and CEO Patrick Spain. "Our team creates and manages a customized, year-long employee engagement campaign for each employer, ensuring that employees use our service in place of less convenient and more expensive alternatives."

So far in 2014, 27 percent of First Stop Health's members have called First Stop Health. That participation metric is five to 10 times the industry average, Spain said.

"First Stop Health is turning the traditional telemedicine model of 'low price, low utilization' on its head. Lower usage means higher profits for traditional telehealth providers, but little or no cost savings for employers," he added.

"Most competitors use a conventional approach that does not encourage utilization. In addition, they require employees to pay a fee of up to $42 for each consultation with a doctor, placing a barrier between employees and the care they need," Spain said.

With First Stop Health's high utilization and participation rates, self-insured employers recoup two to three times their telehealth investments, and commercially insured employers dramatically reduce claims, which will positively affect future premiums, Spain said.

Approximately 90 percent of telehealth consultations with First Stop Health doctors helped callers avoid the hassle and expense of traveling to physician offices, urgent care facilities or emergency rooms. Such visits would have cost up to $1,000. Avoiding them reduced out-of-pocket expenses for employees and claims against their employers' insurance plans.

First Stop Health does not charge clients' employees a fee for calls, and the service is unlimited for the employees and their family members. Employers pay a low monthly fee for each employee covered by First Stop Health's telehealth service.

For more information, go to www.fshealth.com/employers.

About First Stop Health

Chicago-based First Stop Health is a quick, convenient and affordable telehealth and advocacy service available to employers and to consumers. It offers immediate, 24/7/365 phone and online access to more than 370 U.S.-based, board-certified physicians who provide medical care, advice, diagnosis and - when necessary - prescriptions to its members. Members have access to expert patient advocates to assist them with navigating serious illnesses and reducing medical bills. First Stop Health also helps employers manage and reduce major medical claims. Members can use a confidential, secure online dashboard to access records of consultations with physicians; store and share medical records with their own physicians; and quickly locate nearby physicians, drugstore clinics, urgent care centers and emergency rooms. Connect with First Stop Health on Facebook and follow First Stop Health on Twitter: @firststophealth.

Jani Spede
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