Banner Health, Philips underscore telehealth value in high-cost populations
- New evidence from Banner Health and Royal Philips’ Intensive Ambulatory Care pilot program shows that telemedicine can reduce hospitalization rates and costs for patients with complex medical conditions.
- Hospitalizations for patients enrolled in the telehealth program dropped by 49.5% and the overall costs of care decreased by 34.5%, the companies' study of 128 patients concluded.
- Use of the telehealth services also resulted in a reduction in the number of days patients spent in the hospital of 50% and a 75% reduction in Banner Health's 30-day readmission rate.
Philips’ program uses algorithms to create coaching-focused ambulatory care models to manage high-cost patients and contain costs. The company pointed to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that shows half of all healthcare spending in the U.S. is due to patients who have more than one chronic medical condition.
“Connected care technology can be a powerful tool in improving care while reducing costs, and having data that demonstrates its long-term success is critical to driving wider adoption by both patients and care providers,” Manu Varma, general manager and head of Philips’ Hospital to Home, said in a statement.
The results could help to inform health management of other patient populations. Americans are living longer and older people consume more healthcare, which drives up costs. Adults 65 to 74 use twice as much healthcare as working age adults, and those 85 and older use six times as much, according to The New York Times.
But technology also accounts for some of the rise in healthcare spending — somewhere between one-third and two-thirds of per capita spending growth, the Times’ Austin Frakt reports. The issue is whether technology increases health and quality of life in later years. Since the bulk of age-related spending is close to death, technologies’ benefits mostly outweigh the costs.