The real costs of “free” virtual care

August 11, 2020

The real costs of “free” virtual care

With the newly relaxed regulations in virtual care,  there have been a number of new entrants in the space—many of which are offering free, or nearly free, solutions. But, are these solutions really free? In this vlog, I dissect the three very real costs of “free”.

Trust. It’s at the core of every single healthcare transaction. As a patient, you trust your doctor to give you the care you need. As a provider, you trust your patient to give information. By relaxing the HIPAA rules on a temporary basis, it created an opportunity that was necessary. But, these new free solutions have to make rapid progress to secure data and offer a reliable connection between a provider and patient. It takes time and investment, which free doesn’t allow you to do.

Sustainability. Patients need to be able to access your solution 24/7, without a drop in connection or significant barriers. If they can’t, they’ll go elsewhere—they have more options than ever to find an alternate solution for care. A solution that doesn’t meet patients’ needs day and night is a direct cost of free solution. 

Revenue. If you don’t have a trusted connection that delivers a sustainable service, you’re not going to be able to bill for services—and that means lost revenue. A clunky system means you can’t be as efficient, see as many patients, and recover revenue last during this pandemic. 

So as you can see… virtual can’t truly be free. There’s a cost associated with everything. And in this case, the cost of free is too high.


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