While regulation, reimbursement and patient preference will determine how remote monitoring integrates with future care, the benefits are potentially powerful, according to a recent study.
Brentwood, Tennessee-based health system LifePoint Health and Cadence, a remote care management company, enrolled multiple groups with pre-existing conditions into a remote monitoring program. Results revealed such programs can lead to improvements in clinical outcomes. When looking at the first 100 patients with the longest tenure in a program, the rates of heart failure in patients presenting to the emergency room decreased by 50%.
In addition to the clinical outcomes, the companies said there was a 19% reduction in cost of care for accountable care organization patients.
LifePoint chose Cadence because its leaders said the platform emphasized its collaborative approach with existing providers.
"Behavior change is hard, regardless of industry, but I think healthcare gets an especially bad rap," said Jessica Beegle, chief innovation officer at LifePoint Health. "So, what we're really committed to on the LifePoint, side, as well as on the Cadence side, is walking all of our different stakeholders through what we can do and what we can deliver together."
Beegle's first goal is to enroll more patients. She and her team plans to significantly expand LifePoint’s partnership with the remote care company.
“Do people actually use it? That's where I think a lot of digital health companies really fall short. You can kind of get to the one-yard line, but if someone doesn't use it, it's almost like what's the solution good for," Beegle said.
Beegle said the $8.8 billion health system wants to enroll 100,000 patients by 2025. They're also exploring other remote monitoring or digital health partnerships.
“I can go out and find wonderful tech to solve any problem you can think of, but our main focus is on meeting the specific needs top priorities for folks in our different markets” Beegle said.
Chris Altchek, the CEO and founder at Cadence, said the benefits of remote patient monitoring derive from giving physicians only the information they need.
“If you start sending data on 400 of a physician's patients through the EMR, you're going to have a big problem,” Altcheck said. He also said a big part of the platform is “filtering the data coming in. Creating insights, not just alerts, and then actually having a dedicated team whose job it is to monitor the dashboards, monitor the alerts and triage what goes to the physicians.”
While the new data reveals promise, convincing physicians to change old habits or established ways of thinking around virtual monitoring could be difficult, said Beegle.
“We can have all of the best technology in the world, but if we don’t have high quality and good clinical outcomes, it doesn’t really matter,” Beegle said.