Geneia study: Remote patient monitoring could save more than $8,000 per patient annually
June 15, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – Geneia, an analytics and technology leader in transforming healthcare delivery published the results of a year-long remote patient monitoring pilot study, yielding a savings of $8,375 per monitored patient annually, which, for a typical one-million-member health plan could translate into about $1.1 million saved each year.
Geneia’s remote patient monitoring program, powered by ZephyrLIFETM technology, is a 24x7x365 solution that helps chronically ill patients and their providers better understand, monitor and manage their health. The program combines predictive analytics, state-of-the-art technology and in-home clinical support to identify chronically ill patients most likely to participate in and benefit from the program. It then supports them through personalized care planning to improve health outcomes.
The remote patient monitoring pilot study compared the experience of Capital BlueCross members diagnosed with heart failure (HF), who enrolled and actively participated in the remote monitoring program, to a control group of non-monitored members with statistically similar pre-program risk scores. The study evaluated clinical, utilization and cost outcomes, and patient experience.
According to Geneia Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Chambers, the remote patient monitoring program offers tremendous potential to impact the cost of healthcare and improve outcomes for patients struggling with chronic disease.
“The remote patient monitoring program is an important and successful component of a robust and comprehensive case management strategy at Capital BlueCross,” said Chambers. “Not only is chronic disease expensive, difficult to manage and a drain on our healthcare system, but it also takes a toll on patients and families, decreasing their quality of life and often leading to an accelerated transition out of the home and into facility-based care.”
“The results of the remote monitoring pilot program are promising,” continued Chambers. ”We are confident that more of our seniors struggling with chronic disease will benefit from this technology and, together with their provider and the case management team at Geneia, learn to better understand and manage their chronic conditions and continue to live full and independent lives in their own homes.”
Remote Patient Monitoring Study Methodology
Participants in the study and control groups had:
- A diagnosis of heart failure
- At least one inpatient admission or two or more emergency department (ED) visits in the 12 months prior to being recruited for participation in the program
- A statistically similar risk score, as measured by a retrospective claims- and demographic-based risk score
- 12 months of pre-program claims data and three to 12 months of post-program claims data
Eligible study participants included in the remote patient monitoring pilot study received 91 to 180 days of monitoring with a minimum 50 percent compliance rate between January 2015 and February 2016. The study evaluated:
- Clinical outcomes and disease progression, as measured through a change in risk score
- Utilization outcomes, as measured through acute hospital admissions and HF-specific inpatient hospital admissions
- Financial outcomes
The remote patient monitoring study yielded positive results, including:
- Slowed disease progression, as measured by patient risk scores. The risk score stabilized: 2 percent increase in the pilot group compared to 31 percent increase in the control group.
- Reduction in hospitalizations:
- Net 45 percent reduction in acute hospital admissions (66 percent reduction in the pilot group and a 21 percent reduction in the control group).
- Net 34 percent reduction in HF acute hospital admissions (90 percent reduction in the pilot group and 56 percent reduction in the control group). Note: HF acute hospital admissions are a subset of acute hospital admissions.
- The reduction in hospital admissions means an average per-participant, per-year savings of $8,375 in monitored HF patients. As an example, taking into consideration eligibility and expected participation rates and subtracting program costs, a typical health plan with one million members, could expect to save about $1.1 million per year.:
- Improved patient experience:
- remote patient monitoring study participants reported an overall satisfaction rate of 96 percent.
- 96 percent said “…my remote patient monitoring nurse helped me to better understand my health condition(s) and identify and manage my healthcare needs.”
- 97 percent said “…my remote patient monitoring nurse helped me understand when I should talk to my doctor or healthcare provider about symptoms or changes in my condition.”
One unexpected result was an increase of 7 percent in ED visits in the pilot group. However, this is consistent with other research that reported monitoring HF patients was associated with a reduction in planned hospital visits and lower monetary costs, despite a modest increase in unplanned hospital and ED visits1.
Helping Patients Live Healthier Lives
The remote monitoring program is helping patients live healthier, happier lives, including:
- Mrs. Emma Smith* Age 97.
- Diagnosed with HF, heart disease, irregular heart rhythm.
- Pre-remote patient monitoring experience: One hospitalization for HF in 12 months.
- Remote patient monitoring experience: No ED visits or hospitalizations for HF in more than 11 months; continues to live at home.
- Mr. Jack Jones* Age 75.
- Diagnosed with HF, hypertension, COPD, diabetes.
- Pre-remote patient monitoring experience: Home-bound due to continuous oxygen; blood sugar and blood pressure not well controlled.
- Remote patient monitoring experience: No ED visits or hospitalization for HF; no longer on continuous oxygen; blood pressure normalized; decreased BP medication and insulin.
- Mr. Harold Brown* Age 77.
- Diagnosed with HF.
- Pre-remote patient monitoring experience: Generally healthy until recent and unexpected HF diagnosis.
- Remote patient monitoring experience: No ED visits or hospitalizations for HF in more than a year; increased self-awareness and self-confidence about disease state.
Click here to view the complete remote patient monitoring patient stories.
Overall, the Geneia remote monitoring study, like other similar studies, shows largely positive clinical, utilization, cost and patient experience outcomes. When combined with a quality case management program, appropriate clinical support and a robust technology platform capable of collecting and synthesizing biometric device data, the remote patient monitoring program demonstrates potential to reduce costs, improve outcomes and maintain a high quality of life for patients with chronic disease.
*The stories presented here are used with permission. Names, likeness and certain identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
1Klersy et al. (2016). Effect of telemonitoring of cardiac implantable electronic devices on healthcare utilization: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in patients with heart failure. Eur J Heart Fail Feb; 18(2):195-20
Geneia LLC is a healthcare analytics and services company. We work to improve collaboration between healthcare providers, health plans and employers to better support personalized, patient-centered care. Through advanced technology, education and training, insights and clinical services, we help clients better identify and actively manage high-risk populations, improve quality measurement and outcomes, and strengthen revenue. Rooted in deep clinical experience and leading-edge data science, our client-centric, phased approach to population health simplifies the transition to risk and value-based care. Our offices are located in Harrisburg, PA and Manchester, NH. To learn more, visit Geneia.com (https://www.geneia.com) or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.