Chronically Ill See Improved Outcomes with Remote Patient Monitoring

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The use of remote patient monitoring technology allows physicians to better monitor patients and better treat conditions before they become more acute.

The use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology allows physicians to better monitor patients and better treat conditions before they become more acute, according to research recently conducted by the Spyglass Consulting Group as a follow-up to a 2006 report based on the same topic. Called "Trends in Remote Patient Monitoring 2009," the new study found that remote monitoring prevents “unnecessary trips” to the emergency room and also helps prevent re-admission to the hospital.

According to the study findings, about 97% of healthcare organizations use RPM to better the clinical outcomes of critically ill patients.

Information was obtained from more than 100 interviews with healthcare organizations that provide or utilize telehealth and telemedicine, including hospitals, academic medical centers, home healthcare agencies, government groups, and disease management companies. Key findings include:

- Telehealth initiatives have been funded by 48% of participating organizations. A healthy ROI is recognized by those healthcare delivery networks that serve as provider and payer.

- The merger of healthcare with consumer electronics—like smartphones, PCs, and cable boxes—allows patients to use devices with which they are already comfortable. - Before healthcare organizations make additional investments to support patients with other chronic conditions, RPM device—and associated peripheral—prices need to drop below $500 per unit, quite a ways form the current rates of several thousand dollars.

- In the face of evidence showing RPM’s efficacy, healthcare payers are reluctant to provide associated reimbursement.

- “Healthcare payer reimbursement is focused on a healthcare delivery model ill equipped to address the needs of an aging Baby Boomer population with chronic illness.”

- Healthcare providers are rewarded by payers based on quantity of care, as opposed to quality if care, provided.

An abstract of Spyglass’s findings is available at http://www.spyglass-consulting.com/spyglass_whitepaper_RPM2009.html.

Have you had any experience with RPM? If not, why? If you have, please share these experiences with your colleagues by posting a comment.

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