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All Things HIT

Sep 10 2010   10:28AM GMT

Hurrah for Mobile Health in New Study!



Posted by: AllinHIT
ACO's, Mobile Health, Remote Monitoring, Telehealth

There has never been any doubt in my mind, we must embrace the benefits that telemedicine, remote monitoring, and other mobile health applications bring.  This week Pricewatercoopers (PWC) released a report confirming the huge opportunity we have in changing our health delivery system to a low cost, easily accessible, quality and evidence based, ACO like compatible model!

The study stated physicians are willing to use the technology, at an astounding 88% surveyed.  Patients, they found, are willing to use medical devices, but not pay for them if the device is over $50.  However, a small percentage (41%) will pay for the mobile device on a monthly subscription basis. This gives much evidence to society’s openness to mobile health.  Within, the ACO model, mobile health can prevent episodic events from occurring by getting real time monitoring of their assigned population segment. Controlling High Blood Pressure, managing CHF conditions and heart devices, like pacemakers, will reduce hospital visits, hence, reducing delivery cost for the ACO. 

I know all of this sounds simple, but I do understand the challenges ahead.  The wireless PHI floating in the air, scares the medical privacy advocates, and the naysayers in general, whose argument has a wide range of reasons.  However, pilots and programs are being implemented in many areas.  Cigna and Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta, recently announced an ACO pilot with 100,000 Cigna patients, and 100 Piedmont affiliated physicians.  The 1:100 physician/patient ratio effectiveness, a mobile health strategy, and its relationship to cost, will be an interesting measure during this 1 year pilot.  The willingness to comply, by patients, and the physician real-time monitoring of data, can that be an effective combination, leading to an effective evidence based medical society?  What will be the overall cost reduction be in this Atlanta ACO? Having attended college (Morehouse), and living in Atlanta for 18 years. I have a special interest in getting these answers? 

Anyway, I do know, despite an active discussion on whether hospitals or physicians will lead the way in the ACO model, hospitals and physicians will have to work together in sharing PHI data, outlined in HIE and Meaningful Use guidelines.  Real-time data from mobile health devices, can be available for HIE’s, and to ACO’s as they go from pilot to true Medicare re-reimbursement programs, January 2012. Either way, Hurrah for mobile health being acceptable to patients and physicians alike!  Message to Cigna and Atlanta’s Piedmont Healthcare, I’ll be calling!

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