Nursing home telemedicine reduces hospitalizations: study

A controlled two-year study in a chain of eleven Massachusetts for-profit nursing homes significantly reduced readmissions through the use of telemedicine (remote consults) with patients during off-hours and weekends. Those homes which used the (unidentified) telemedicine provider the most frequently–four–had the greatest reductions in rates of hospitalization: 11.3 percent, versus 9.7 percent for the six facilities which adopted the system first. A control group of five which presumably did not use telemedicine had a reduction of 5.3 percent. Calculating the savings to Medicare, the researchers estimated $150,000 per nursing home per year. With a telemedicine cost of $30,000 per nursing home, the net savings would be roughly $120,000 for each home using the services most frequently. The researchers are David C. Grabowski of Harvard Medical School and A. James O’Malley of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine. Abstract (full text in Health Affairs paywalled), Medical News Today. Hat tip to Editor Toni Bunting.

TTA’s Editors are highlighting several of the articles in this month’s Health Affairs ‘Connected Health’ issue: Study shows telehealth increases new healthcare usersState policies, size influence hospital telehealth adoptionHealth Affairs review of telehealth/telemedicine studies. Health Affairs provides a helpful overview of this month’s articles ( full text) in Connected Health: Emerging Disruptive Technologies

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