The business of treating patients via telehealth in the U.S. will dramatically increase to nearly $2 billion in revenue within five years due to a confluence of events in the health care industry from doctor shortages to provider payment changes under the Affordable Care Act.
A new report from information and analytics firm IHS IHS +0.22% says revenue expansion of the teleheath space — which allows doctors and other providers to monitor patients remotely via various devices, computers and related digital technology – will grow to $1.9 billion in 2018 in the U.S. from $240 million this year.
The trend toward telehealth will be driven by employers, private insurers and the Affordable Care Act, which makes doctors and hospitals more accountable by moving medical care providers away from fee-for-service medicine where they are paid based on volume of services to reimbursement based on the value of care they provide. This trend often uses doctors as a quarterback of sorts in concert with nurses and other allied health professionals to keep patients out of the hospital where care is more expensive.
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