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Value-based reimbursement fuels remote patient monitoring adoption

July 25, 2016
Value-based reimbursement is fueling increased adoption of telehealth and remote patient monitoring programs.
Chief Executive Officer, Retired

The evolution to value-based reimbursement is here - and accelerating – and there is widespread agreement this is leading to increased adoption of telehealth programs and remote patient monitoring. In a research report just released, Telehealth Rising: Practical Insights and Strategies for Success, industry leaders like Joseph Kvedar, MD, vice president, Connected Health at Partners Healthcare in Boston said, “Value-based reimbursement will change the value proposition of telehealth.”

Just five short years ago, no Medicare payments were under risk arrangements or value-based contracts.

Today, 30 percent of all Medicare reimbursements are value-based, even more so for hospitals. When their payer and health plan contracts are added in, 85 percent of all hospital payments will be value-based by the end of this year.


In the report, Neal Ganguly, chief information officer of JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ, articulated the challenge. “Many hospitals are in survival mode. The deep resources aren’t there to reinvent healthcare….When your margin is 3-4 percent, and that’s considered good, how do you reinvest in cutting-edge technologies?” At the same time, he noted the promise of remote patient monitoring to reduce preventable readmissions.

A number of organizations including Partners Healthcare, the Geisinger Health Plan, and most recently, Geneia, have demonstrated the return on remote patient monitoring for heart failure patients. In the Geneia remote patient monitoring program, predictive analytics, state-of-the-art technology and in-home clinical support are combined to identify chronically ill patients most likely to participate in and benefit from the program.


Our recently released  remote patient monitoring study showed patients enrolled in the Geneia @Home program reaped an annual savings of $8,375 primarily due to reduced hospitalizations. They also experienced a much slower disease progression as measured by patient risk scores, suggesting future emergency department visits and hospitalizations will be averted. 


Much of the focus has been on heart failure patients, but increasingly, we will use remote patient monitoring for additional disease states and in post-acute settings.

As Danny Sands, MD, a Harvard Medical School professor and primary care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, noted, “If you look at value to the system overall, we should be monitoring everybody with any kind of chronic condition. We don’t have to do it as intensively as we might for heart failure patients, but we should be exploiting patient-generated information, so we have to see patients less often.”


To learn more about the prospects for remote patient monitoring and telehealth, I invite you to watch the webinar. Andrew Rubenstein, MD, chief of obstetrics at Hackensack University Medical Center, Neal Ganguly and I discussed the report and answered questions. To register to watch the webinar, visit: