Drive to ACOs and value-based care may make 2016 The Year of Telehealth (US)

An encouraging prediction? Two Foley & Lardner attorneys with evidently a great interest in healthcare predict that 2016 may very well be The Year of Telehealth. Why? They cite accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the coordinated care at the heart of their model as a protected activity under the Medicare fraud and abuse waivers. “Coordinating care, such as through the use of telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and other enabling technologies”is “an activity reasonably related to the purposes of the Medicare Shared Savings Program and therefore is eligible for protection under one or more of the fraud and abuse waivers”. National Law Review, mHealth News. While from the legal point of view this may be significant, there’s been a concatenation of other factors.

What are the drivers for telemedicine and telehealth in ACOs? In the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), which is one model, ACOs must leverage savings, and perhaps the largest is avoiding unnecessary hospitalization costs among ‘high-risk’ patients–those with chronic disease–and usually more than one. They are also over half of high ER/ED utilizers. The Federal agency behind Medicare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has since 2011 been signing up ACOs in risk and value-based payment models that offer incentives such as shared savings. In 2014, only 28 percent of ACOs in the MSSP program earned shared savings bonuses. (more…)

Eric Dishman: Health care should be a team sport

It’s great to see Intel’s Eric Dishman back in good form after his kidney transplant. Heads-up thanks to Matan Czaczkes.

 

Editor Donna comments 12 April: Dishman (@ 03:30) demonstrates the MobiSante hand held scanner to check his kidney–online and real time with his doctor–and eloquently speaks on the marvelous care coordination he received before/during/after the transplant at Legacy Good Samaritan in Portland, Oregon.  It’s contrasted with the sheer craziness of care he received as a child for a broken arm (where he was caught in the ‘longer you stay in the hospital, the sicker you get’ syndrome), his diagnosis with kidney disease as a university student, and a health scare due to multiple and mistaken dosing. Care coordination is the answer. How can we in health tech work this in to our broken health systems–and work to fix and truly re-form, not paper over?