A major Indiana hospital system recently employed a remote patient monitoring program developed by Care Innovations, a joint venture between Intel and GE, in a study that ultimately achieved a 75% reduction in hospital admissions compared to the control group.
St. Vincent, a member of Ascension health, the nation’s largest not-for-profit Catholic Healthcare System, was a recipient of a Beacon Community Program grant. The hospital system was able to access some of the government-funded $16.1 million awarded to the Indiana Health Information exchange, and used it to conduct a study on remote care management for patients with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The program was designed to help reduce hospital readmissions, and preliminary results show a 75% reduction in hospital admissions from those participating in the program compared to the control group, and an 85% reduction compared to the national average.
The Care Innovations Guide, an integrated remote care management platform that facilitates care delivered in a home setting, was selected for the study, which began in December 2010 and will continue to Dec. 2012.
Nearly all of the approximately 300 patients participating in the study were home-based. All were seniors with COPB and CHF, and many had additional co-morbid conditions, notes Shannon McIntyre, part of Intel-GE Care Innovations’ Corporate Communications department.
Patients were enrolled in the program immediately following hospital discharge for a 30-day monitoring period, from 10 different participating hospitals in the St. Vincent network. Initial study results show a 30-day readmissions rate of 3% for patients participating in the program, compared to 15% in the control group and a national average of 20%.
The annual average cost of hospital readmissions among Medicare patients is about $17.4 billion, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and that amount is expected to grow.
Recent healthcare reform initiatives will begin reducing the amount of Medicare reimbursements to hospitals who have higher readmission rates than a certain benchmark, making post-acute care increasingly important.
“Behavioral factors, such as noncompliance with medications, lack of adherence to care plans, and not following recommended diets, frequently contribute to early readmissions,” notes Care Innovations. “Using technology as part of an overall care plan to address these issues has been shown to reduce readmissions.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace