[Report] American Telemedicine Association – Research Outcomes: Telemedicine’s Impact on Healthcare Cost and Quality
According to the American Telemedicine Association, “Over 40 years of research has yielded a wealth of data about the cost effectiveness and efficacy of many telemedicine applications. PubMed a bibliographic database of medical research that is maintained by the National Library of Medicine includes over 12,000 citations of published works related to telemedicine or telehealth. Over 2,000 evaluative studies related to telemedicine have been published in two journals devoted to telemedicine alone.” This report includes summaries that highlight the results from some of the studies that have evaluated the cost effectiveness, quality of care and patient acceptance of telemedicine.
[Report] US Department of Health and Human Services – Telehealth: Mapping
the Evidence for Patient Outcomes From Systematic Reviews
This report is based on research conducted by the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice
Center under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Researchers identified 1,494 citations about telehealth, from which 58 systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Among their key findings, “A large volume of research reported that telehealth interventions produce positive outcomes when used for remote patient monitoring, broadly defined, for several chronic conditions and for psychotherapy as part of behavioral health. The most consistent benefit has been reported when telehealth is used for communication and counseling or remote monitoring in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, with improvements in outcomes such as mortality, quality of life, and reductions in hospital admissions.”
[Study] Department of Veterans Affairs – Care Coordination/Home Telehealth: the systematic implementation of health informatics, home telehealth, and disease management to support the care of veteran patients with chronic conditions
Between July 2003 and December 2007, the Veterans Health Administration introduced a national home telehealth program, Care Coordination/Home Telehealth. Analysis shows the benefits of a 25% reduction in numbers of bed days of care, 19% reduction in numbers of hospital admissions, and mean satisfaction score rating of 86% after enrolment into the program. The cost is $1,600 per patient per year, substantially less than other NIC programs and nursing home care. The authors concluded that “Enterprise-wide home telehealth implementation is an appropriate and cost-effective way of managing chronic care patients in both urban and rural settings.”
[Study] HIMSS Analytics Essentials Brief: 2016 Telemedicine Study
HIMSS Analytics released the 2016 Telemedicine Study, an Essentials Brief that highlights three years’ worth of market data focused on the adoption of telemedicine technology across the U.S. hospital market. It includes information about access, current telemedicine solution adoption rates and plans to purchase, vendor market share and mindshare, and snapshot statistics for telemedicine solutions across the entire US hospital landscape.
The study, conducted by the RAND Corp. and published in the journal Health Affairs, found that using telecommunication services to provide clinical care from a distance were used mostly by younger, more affluent patients who were more tech savvy. The study assessed the utilization of telemedicine services in a commercial insurance plan that offered access 24 hours a day to Teladoc, a Texas-based firm that is one of the largest telehealth providers in the country. Researchers found no increase in clinical misdiagnosis or errors in treatment among those using the service.
Findings from a controlled study of eleven nursing homes provide the first indications that switching from on-call to telemedicine physician coverage during off hours could reduce hospitalizations and therefore generate cost savings to Medicare in excess of the facility’s investment in the service.
This study observed a growing number of funding approaches and policies supporting remote monitoring for chronic diseases, such as chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. The study also reports a survey of healthcare payers and policymakers in these countries indicating the value of remote monitoring is perceived to be moderate to high in these chronic diseases.