- Medtronic Care Management Services is one of four vendors that has been awarded a national contract by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its home telehealth technologies, Medtronic announced.
- Under the contract, the medical device heavyweight will provide veterans with a comprehensive suite of technology platforms, connected diagnostic devices, clinical workflow software and telehealth solutions to help providers monitor a broad range of health conditions, Medtronic said. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.
- Medtronic moved its headquarters overseas in 2015 to avoid the higher U.S. corporate tax rate, DisabledVeterans.org notes, pointing to the irony of the firm’s getting a taxpayer-financed contract. The strategy, known as tax inversion, reduced corporate tax by roughly two-thirds — from about 35% to 12.5%.
The other three vendors that were awarded a contract are 1 Vision, LLC, Care Innovations, LLC, and Iron Bow Technologies. "These four vendors submitted offers that best met the clinical and technical requirements in the VA Home Telehealth solicitation and were determined to be the best value to the government," Alan Greilsamer, a program specialist with the Veterans Health Administration's Office of Connected Care, told Healthcare Dive.
The VA announced last May that it was adding five new telemental health centers in South Carolina, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon. The agency provides telehealth services to more than 677,000 veterans, or about 12% of the 5.6 million vets that receive VA healthcare.
Studies have shown that telemedicine can lower hospitalization rates and costs for patients with complex medical conditions. In a Banner Health and Royal Philips’ Intensive Ambulatory Care pilot program, hospitalizations for patients enrolled in the telehealth program fell 49.5%, while care costs dropped 34.5%. Patients who used telehealth services also had shower inpatient stays and fewer readmissions.
According to an American Well survey, 20% of U.S. consumers would switch primary care providers if it meant gaining telehealth services. Another survey by National Business Group found nine in 10 employers plan to offer telehealth services to their workers this year.