Vermont Bill Supports Medicaid-Funded Home Health Remote Monitoring

A Vermont Senator is sponsoring a bill that would require the state’s Agency of Human Services to pay for telemonitoring for certain Medicaid beneficiaries starting this July.

Remote monitoring can yield significant savings by reducing hospital admissions and readmissions, Peter Cobb, director of the Vermont Assembly of Home Health and Hospice agencies, told the Vermont Digger, and Medicare and private insurers are already paying for the service.

“Telemonitoring in a home health context means placing devices in the patient’s home to take vital signs and relay the information back to the home health agency,” explains the Vermont Digger. “When readings are outside parameters set by a physician, a nurse is sent to the patient’s home.” 

Senate Bill 234 is sponsored by Sen. Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), who’s on the board of the Rutland Area Visiting Nurses Association, an organization that provides home health telemonitoring services. 

“I do believe this would be a step forward, and consistent with our goals of delivering better care at a better price,” Mullin said in the article.  “It’s just amazing if you look at how much home health can save versus other settings.”

Some home health agencies are already providing remote monitoring services to Medicaid beneficiaries without being reimbursed. Cobb estimated that covering the service would cost Medicaid between $135,000 and $270,000 a year, but could result in huge savings, as avoiding a hospital readmission saves an average of $11,000 a beneficiary. 

Read more at the Vermont Digger. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace