Yesterday I took a look at the renewed adoption of technology by “tech-enabled caregivers” (see The Tech-Enabled Caregiver Redux all members), and some of the new technology developments organizations are using to support caregivers. So what is the current state of the tech-enabled caregiver in the health care industry?
Where should executive teams who haven’t integrated tech into their care delivery model start? I think a whitepaper that has come out of California and is focused on providing tech-enabled telehealth for “older Californians” (re: dual eligibles with chronic conditions) has done an interesting job at identifying possible savings (see Home Telehealth in California):
Conducted by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and collecting four years of data on almost 17,000 patients, the Care Coordination/Home Telehealth (CCHT) program sought to select “appropriate home telehealth technology, gave the required training to the patient and caregiver, reviewed telehealth monitoring data, and provided active care or case management.” The outcomes? Average Medi-Cal savings for diabetes ($4,533,812), CHF ($7,243,184), COPD ($4,286,265), and mental health ($547,722) totaled $16,610,984 (assuming average price of an inpatient stay of $20,858).
VHA also estimates that potential annual savings (based on the assumption of a 19% reduction in hospitalizations and that 60% of all Medicaid/Medicare readmissions are telehealth appropriate) stands at $379,873,488.
Which telehealth technologies offer the biggest cost-cutting potential, according to VHA?
Remote Patient Monitoring – This technology (which we call consumer health monitoring at OPEN MINDS) includes “a variety of integrated or stand-alone RPM devices, up-to date information on patients’ chronic disease and/or post-acute care status … and other data.” This valuable form of ambulatory health care gathers consumer biometric information through mobile medical devices and sends that information to health care professionals. For more on some of the exciting new technologies available, check out Community-Based Treatment Through Technology: Remote Health Monitoring, Relapse Prevention & More ).
Medication Management – This technology assists “patients and caregivers with obtaining proper medication information, patient education, medication organization, dispensing, and dose reminders.” In e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century , a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and UnitedHealthcare, 70% of caregivers are interested in medication support systems.
Care Transitions – This technology is “used to improve the outcome of a patient’s transition from a hospital or facility to home by using specific information about the patient and the providers of medical services to help reduce re-admission.” There are many contributors to hospital readmissions, and lack of care coordination and continuity of treatment is a major factor (see The 4:1 ROI Of Hospital Discharge Transition Programs all members) – an opportunity for organizations that can combine their community-based assets with the emerging array of new in-home and smartphone technologies.
The goal is to take a close look at both your technology options, and your strategy to find where they can together, lead your organization into the future (see The Strategy Of Tech Investment and What, How & When – Understanding Tech In A Post-Reform Market ). If you can’t understand all the details, make sure you understand all the implications.
For another free resource, see: ‘Must Consider’ Technology all members