September 21, 2009
Vol. II, No. 10
Remote Monitoring for Heart Failure Reaps ROI, Reduces Admissions in Medical Home Pilot
Remote monitoring of heart failure patients by Henry Ford Health System's patient-centered team care program shows a 36 percent reduction in expected all-cause hospital admissions for enrollees after six months and a return of 2.3:1 vs. program costs. The Michigan non-profit healthcare enterprise began using Tel-Assurance®, Pharos Innovations’ device-free remote patient monitoring (RPM) platform, at its clinics on July 21, 2008 as part of its patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model; the reporting period ran through December 31, 2008.
In describing the telemedicine outreach during a recent HIN webinar, Katherine Scher, a program manager for Henry Ford Health System, said that the remote monitoring effort relieved the burden on Henry Ford's case managers, who were "busy contacting and working with patients with various conditions and trying to move them into a healthier state." She also shared a program strategy that likely contributed to enrollment and engagement rates of greater than 60 percent.
"We made sure that when we delegated the enrollment to the Pharos team, that they knew the correct pronunciation of the physicians' names. That seems like a small thing, but it’s not. If you’re a patient receiving a call from someone asking you to participate in a program and the person doesn’t pronounce your physician’s name correctly, it takes all credibility away. That’s the level of detail and preparation that went into developing this outreach process."
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A pilot program that incorporates components of the medical home model launched by CIGNA and Medical Clinic of North Texas (MCNT) is the fifth PCMH collaboration for the private payor, which already participates in several medical home initiatives throughout the country, including multi-payer pilots in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Vermont and a CIGNA-only pilot in New Hampshire.
In the first commercially sponsored medical home program in Texas that involves a multi-site medical practice and a single private payor, CIGNA will fund the development of a process of care coordination led by a registered nurse working with a team of professionals supported by MCNT and CIGNA data and clinical tools. The program is focused on the more than 10,000 individuals covered by a CIGNA health plan who receive care from MCNT’s PCPs.
MCNT-affiliated PCPs will be paid as usual for the medical services they provide and may also be rewarded through a pay-for-performance structure for improving quality and enhancing access to appropriate healthcare.
For more details on the CIGNA-MCNT pilot, please visit:
The appropriate use of health IT to optimize patient care is wired into the widely endorsed PCMH joint principles. And as rising healthcare costs fuel much of the healthcare reform debate, healthcare organizations are turning to telehealth to lower costs and improve efficiencies while expanding patients' access to services. Complete HIN's Survey of the Month on Telehealth in 2009 by September 30 and receive a free executive summary of the compiled results. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential.
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Treating ER Overcrowding: An Emergency in Urgent Care
An overcrowded ER can create a myriad of problems — from an increase in wait times to a decline in the quality of care being given to patients in need. In a recent e-survey from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN), 73 healthcare organizations described how they are responding to ER overcrowding and the effect of this trend on their organizations.
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