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New Web-Based Tool Measures ROI for Remote Patient Technologies

June 11, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Center for Connected Health (CCH) in Boston and the Oakland, Calif.-based Center for Technology and Aging (CTA) have collaborated on the development of a tool for analyzing the return on investment (ROI) for remote patient monitoring technologies, enabling healthcare providers to evaluate the financial benefit of these technologies for patients with chronic heart disease.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) provides an increasingly important means of delivering healthcare in the U.S., improving care delivery, access to care, and quality of life, while reducing healthcare costs. Providers and payers interested in developing RPM programs generally need evidence, particularly financial evidence, of the effectiveness of a RPM program prior to approving its implementation or expansion. The ROI tool helps healthcare providers determine the current ROI of an established RPM program as well as projecting ROI for future years.

Developed with support from the California HealthCare Foundation, this web-based ROI tool helps to build the economic case that healthcare organizations need in order to take RPM programs to scale. “Remote patient monitoring increasingly offers providers new options for improving the care of America’s aging population, particularly those with a chronic disease,” David Lindeman, Ph.D., director of the center for technology and aging, said in a statement.

The ROI Tool was developed and tested with a number of healthcare organizations participating in the CTA Diffusion Grants Program. HealthCare Partners (HCP), a large physician group practice based in southern California, used the ROI Tool to quantify the value of its remote patient monitoring program for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Using the ROI tool, HCP’s interactive voice response program had a positive ROI of 1.3 to 1 after one year, and is projected to increase dramatically to 18.9 to 1 by year five.

Research published in January by analyst firm Berg Insight estimated that 2.8 million patients worldwide were using a home monitoring service based on equipment with integrated connectivity at the end of 2012, and Berg predicted those number of connections would climb to 9.4 million worldwide by 2017.

"The importance of accurate, compelling, and relevant health services research cannot be overstated in an evolving care environment. To help meet CMS's triple aims of better health, better care, and reduced costs, the ROI tool allows clinicians, policy makers, and healthcare administrators to accurately examine the costs involved to implement and expand a RPM program in a variety of care settings," Jeremy Rich, M.D., director of the healthcare partners institute for applied research and education, said in a statement.

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