Treatment of patients with chronic disease accounts for nearly four-fifths of U.S. healthcare spending. Robert Bosch Healthcare Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based remote patient monitoring company and a subsidiary of the Bosch Group, announced new evidence demonstrating that implementing carefully designed care management and telehealth programs for these patients can help significantly reduce health care spending. As published in the article “Integrated Telehealth and Care Management Program for Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Disease Linked to Savings” by healthcare policy journal Health Affairs, a research team explored the economic impact of using content-based remote patient monitoring such as Bosch Healthcare’s Health Buddy Program, together with patient-centered care management for high cost Medicare beneficiaries with chronic disease such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or diabetes mellitus. Implemented within the CMS demonstration project, Care Management for High Cost Beneficiaries (CMHCB)–Health Buddy Program, researchers conducted an analysis evaluating changes in healthcare spending resulting from patient-centered care management supported by remote patient monitoring. The Health Buddy Program was associated with spending reductions of approximately 7.7 percent to 13.3 percent ($312–$542) per intervention patient per quarter over the two-year period studied. These data further demonstrate the value of remote patient monitoring and could suggest savings of thousands of Medicare dollars per patient per year as a result of providing a well-designed care management program with remote patient monitoring in the home.
In addition, the researchers observed significant mortality differences between treatment and control groups, which suggest that the intervention may have produced noticeable changes in health outcomes. Mortality was not the focus of the study and further research is needed to explore these effects fully, the authors say. This new evidence of reduced costs and mortality among patients with chronic disease provides solutions to some of America’s most challenging healthcare system problems and are in concert with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) goals of better care, better health, and lower costs for all Americans.
The Medicare CMHCB demonstration was conducted at Wenatchee Valley Medical Center in Wenatchee, Washington and Bend Memorial Clinic in Bend, Oregon. The care management teams at both clinics used content-based remote patient monitoring to improve the communication with patients, monitor their vital sign data and increase the patient’s knowledge about their chronic illness(es). Patient outcomes demonstrated improved care through reduced hospitalizations and improved medication compliance among other positive outcomes.