Gender-Specialized Telehealth Solutions Can Improve Employee Productivity

by Bill Goodwin

As the price of healthcare continues to rise, many businesses have to make tough decisions where it comes to providing benefits that offer care and services their employees want and need. Those decisions must encompass what to provide and to what extent, in order to maximize employee engagement while controlling costs. And, in today’s low unemployment environment, companies need to offer compelling benefit solutions to attract and/or retain talented employees.

While most companies offer plans that cover preventive care and other types of vital medical services, most packages tend to ignore a critical segment of healthcare that most employees want to access — even if they may be a little reticent to talk about it.

While typically private, men’s and women’s health services are in high demand but not widely discussed. These include common concerns such as sexual health issues like erectile dysfunction, low sex drive and menopause, as well as other issues affecting the health and self-confidence of men and women alike, including hair loss, skin conditions, sexually transmitted diseases and smoking cessation.

All of these issues can and do negatively impact an employer. Increased presenteeism, more absences and higher turnover are the result of not addressing this core component of human wellness. Employees can only be engaged at a level that matches how they feel mentally, emotionally and physically. When part of their well-being is suffering due to common men’s or women’s health concerns, the business suffers too.

Most benefit plans are missing men’s and women’s health services. A telehealth solution — which offers access to medical providers over the phone, computer or mobile device — makes it easier for people to seek care for stigmatized health conditions that can affect their day-to-day well-being. Moreover, it’s an affordable solution for the employer.

A Cleveland Clinic survey in 2018 reported that 61 percent of men avoided seeing a doctor even when they needed to go, and 56 percent preferred to keep their health concerns quiet. Meanwhile, Everyday Health reports more than half of women feel bad about their physical appearance on a weekly basis, and 65 percent say they put themselves last.

In short, women and men are often too embarrassed to seek care, especially where it comes to sensitive issues like sexual health. But delaying care for these conditions can make matters much worse down the line. Not only is the employee’s quality of life negatively impacted, but the company’s bottom line can take a hit as well due to higher medical costs and missed workdays. In fact, a 2018 report from the Integrated Benefits Institute found that illness-related lost productivity costs employers $530 billion a year.

MeMD addresses this with a telehealth platform that gives women and men a safe, convenient and confidential way to talk with a board-certified medical provider about those potentially embarrassing health concerns, restore their well-being and get on with their lives. Companies that offer telehealth solutions for these needs help remove barriers to care while enhancing their employees’ well-being and improving business operations.

Bill Goodwin is CEO of MeMD, a national telehealth provider based in Scottsdale that offers on-demand, online care for common illnesses, injuries, men’s and women’s health concerns, and behavioral health issues; Services are available to consumers and businesses nationwide.

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