Report: VA Telehealth Program Failed to Enroll Most Needy Patients | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Report: VA Telehealth Program Failed to Enroll Most Needy Patients

March 11, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
The Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) did a review of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) home telehealth program, saying it had missed opportunities for expansion of enrollment.
 
The review of the program says that the VHA missed opportunities to enroll Non-Institutional Care (NIC) patients in its Home Telehealth Program in 2013. As a result, the report says that VA could have potentially delayed the need for long-term institutional care for approximately 59,000 additional veterans. Telehealth service of those NIC patients declined by 4 percent in 2013, while in contrast, service for Chronic Care Management (CCM) and Health Promotion/Disease Prevention (HPDP) patients increased significantly.
 
The OIG report says that this disparity occurred because of a change in performance methodology, which focused on the overall number of patients enrolled in a telehealth program. As a result, more patients in the HDHP program were enrolled because those participants would likely need less intervention from physicians due to their health care needs being less complex. The NIC patients, which likely had the greatest medical needs, were ignored. 
 
The VA OIG recommends VHA implement mechanisms to identify demand for NIC patients and develop specific performance measures to promote enrollment of NIC patients.
 
Topics

News

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.