Accrediting telehealth and remote patient monitoring providers (US)

Another organization has a go at it. ClearHealth Quality Institute (CHQI) of Annapolis, Maryland, an independent health care accrediting body, is developing two new telemedicine accreditation modules that cover Telemedicine Outcomes and Remote Patient Monitoring. The CHQI has formed a committee to develop standards in these areas to add them to current accreditation modules in telemedicine delivery: Consumer-to-Provider (C2P), Provider-to Consumer (P2C), and Provider-to-Provider (P2P). 

The need for clinical training and accreditation was recognized in August’s National Quality Forum report, Creating a Framework to Support Measure Development for Telehealth. Four domains of measurement were identified in the NQF report for telemedicine and telehealth organizations: 1) access to care, 2) cost effectiveness, 3) experience, and 4) effectiveness.

CHQI started in the insurance accreditation and compliance areas, expanding to telehealth recently. It is the only telemedicine accreditation program recognized by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and with major telemedicine providers such as American Well, Doctor On Demand, and MDLive.

Our Readers will remember that back in 2014, then Intel-GE Care Innovations in conjunction with the Jefferson College of Population Health had started the Validation Institute to accredit both individuals and companies. By last July, Care Innovations had sold it off to the Health Value Institute and had some time back concentrated on companies only. ClearHealth release, PatientEngagementHIT

Care Innovations’ Slovenski, 23andMe’s Schwartz move to Healthways

Breaking News: Healthways, an online wellness program company based in Nashville, this morning announced that two executives well known to many of us in digital health have joined them. Sean Slovenski, CEO of Intel-GE Care Innovations, is now their President, Population Health Services. Steve Schwartz, their new SVP Strategy and Corporate Development, joins the company from VP Business Development and Strategy, 23andMe.

Mr Slovenski’s track record in 2.5 years at CI certainly impressed this Editor (formerly with the developer of their behavioral telemonitoring system bequeathed from GE Healthcare, QuietCare) with turning around the company from an outpost of Intel and GEHC having difficulty transitioning from ancient technology (remember the Intel Health Guide?) to a telehealth platform dubbed Health Harmony. He also put together a team that engineered multiple academic and health system alliances, along with an interesting turn into home digital health certification. While he came to CI from health insurance giant Humana in Louisville Kentucky running their behavioral health and wellness businesses, his prior experience includes both entrepreneurial turns at his own company and with smaller companies. He most recently engineered a Louisville outpost of CI [TTA 14 Oct 15]. Since Mr Slovenski is still listed on the CI website as CEO, this may have been a quickly executed move.

Mr Schwartz’s business development background includes long stints at two large healthcare companies, Allscripts (EHRs and practice management software) and LabCorp (lab testing). He weathered 23andMe’s FDA troubles and headed up their B2B sales area. Healthways release

Unusually, Healthways is a NASDAQ traded company that closed at $12.11 today in a down market. It’s old (in our terms) having been founded in 1981, becoming publicly traded ten years later. Its last round of venture financing was $20 million from CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield in October 2013 (CrunchBase). Healthways has a fairly new CEO as well, who joined last August and obviously feels comfortable adding to his team.

The intent is good, the name–Hackfest–is unfortunate (Updated)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CI_Hackfest_15.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Given another Big Blue Cross data breach (below), the juxtaposition of a release from Intel-GE Care Innovations is, how do we say, jarring. A great trumpeting of a prestige event 18-20 September in conjunction with the Stanford Center on Longevity on the Stanford University campus. “Inspiring a reconfigured care delivery process bringing care to the home and uniting patients, family caregivers and professional caregivers with the traditional clinical care team.” which will “…change the status quo. The event will bring together clinicians and care providers, health plan leaders, family and professional caregivers, patients, designers, engineers, students and faculty to explore the meaning and definition of a care team.” Yes they can be ‘hack(ing) a strategy to redefine the care team’…but given the tens of millions of health records hacked, breached and stolen in this year alone, is this the best name Stanford and Care Innovations could think of?  ‘Hackfests’ and ‘hackathons’ usually are coding or programming competitions, which long predate the negative use of ‘hack’ for malicious entry into systems. Even events in that context are increasingly met with raised eyebrow.

‘Hackfest’ for this is a stretch. Message to both: care teams need redefining, but it’s time for a better, and more descriptive, name. A ‘****-palooza’ (a voguish term in US), anyone?

Update: A Care Innovations spokesperson and this Editor had a Twitter conversation–a TweetFest, so to speak:

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Care-Innovations.png” thumb_width=”450″ /]

Readers–what do you think? Is this Editor overly sensitive to the ‘h’ word? She might be…click on the title to see Comments.

buddi wins £20 million in contracts, signs up with Care Innovations in US

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/lavender_set_34.jpg-buddi.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]buddi, a well-known UK personal tracker/tagger company, announced over the weekend that they have signed two contracts worth £20 million ($25.1 million). The first and most of interest is with Intel-GE Care Innovations for their new, quite attractive wrist-worn fall detector/two-way emergency alert/activity monitor. According to the Telegraph, it was designed by Sebastian Conran (left) and was ‘fully certified by the US government in recent weeks’ which may mean that it gained FDA clearance. The second was for their ‘Smart Tag’ used in criminal tracking with the New South Wales, Australia government. Care Innovations adds another consumer-facing device to the Lively activity tracker and iHealth fitness and telehealth devices. Timing for availability is not disclosed. (more…)

Care Innovations harmonizes and validates

Updated 27 November

In what seems to be a repackaging and repositioning of their remote care management/telehealth services, Intel-GE Care Innovations is now orchestrating Health Harmony. It appears on their promotional web page to be a bundling into that latest rave, the care continuum, but also a refreshing of separate systems developed since 2011: for the patient, an in-home tablet hub/portal for monitors and PC-based content portal once known as Connect; and for the clinician or caregiver, what was formerly called the Intel-GE Care Innovations Guide (which succeeded the Intel Health Guide). According to the CI website and press release from earlier this month, Health Harmony is an ‘optimized experience” that promotes collaboration among the patient, family, friends and care professionals and will “organize caregiving tasks, coordinate schedules, track medications, monitor vital signs and crucial health information, and quickly share information.” The release gives the impression of a launch but no information on cutting over current clients to the new system.

Update: A test of the Health Harmony system in a hospital environment to reduce readmissions is underway with liver transplant patients at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.  The shocking fact is that 50 percent of transplant readmissions occur within seven days of discharge. Instead of being discharged with a booklet and an exam one week later, the patients daily self-monitor vital signs (blood pressure, glucose, temperature), pain level and answer programmed questions. The clinical team reviews their data for 90 days post-discharge and can also do video consults. Currently eight patients are being monitored in the program with up to 20 projected through April 2015. Liver transplant bundled payments are approximately $250,000 with surgery being $180,000 of it, so there is an immediate benefit to the hospital system.

Another interesting development in Roseville, California is the expansion of the CI Validation Institute, announced in June, (more…)

Cigna, Care Innovations expand Tennessee CHF care management pilot

Healthcare payer Cigna’s Healthspring Medicare plan unit has been piloting a congestive heart failure (CHF) care management program with Intel-GE Care Innovations in Tennessee to reduce same-cause hospital  readmissions. The initial year-long 50-patient program is being expanded to 250 patients who have had a CHF diagnosis plus a previous ER visit or hospital admission. Patients are supplied at no cost a blood pressure cuff, a scale and the Care Innovations Guide on a tablet platform. Daily biometrics are sent to Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioners, and also complete an educational program to help them manage their CHF at home. After a 90-day minimum, once certain goals (e.g. weight loss, blood pressure and heart rate) are met, the patients stay in the program, the tablet is withdrawn but they continue to monitor and log their vitals with a case manager. What is curious about this seemingly anodyne (more…)

Ding! Telecare developer Healthsense raises $10 million in 8th round

Sensor-based remote monitoring company and certified Grizzled Pioneer Healthsense has completed a raise of $10 million, its eighth round of funding since its founding in 2003. This round was led by new investor Mansa Capital with previous investors Radius Ventures and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. Mansa has current investments in only two other companies–smartphone med adherence platform HealthPrize Technologies ($3 million from Mansa just yesterday) and employer behavioral health risk manager E4 Health (CrunchBase) with a third, Independent Living Systems, listed on its website, but was a prior investor in well-known Athenahealth. Earlier investors Ziegler HealthVest Management (2007) and West Health did not join in this round. The VentureBeat article alludes to home monitoring pilots with home health providers Humana Cares/Senior Bridge and Fallon Health–odd since Healthsense has always had units in home health. Last year Healthsense bought rival telecare company WellAWARE [TTA 2 July 2013] after the latter experienced difficulty (more…)

New diabetes telehealth trial in Mississippi (US)

A new telehealth trial for diabetes patients will be recruiting patients in Mississippi this spring. Known [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ummc_aerial.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]as the Diabetes Telehealth Network, the trial is planned to provide a classic telehealth service for up to 200 patients for a period of 18 months.

This trial is a result of a collaboration between several public and private organizations: the Mississippi Governor’s office, University of Mississippi, North Sunflower Medical Center, GE Healthcare, Intel-GE Care Innovations and C Spire.

The recruited trialists will be provided with a broadband connected tablet PC which will have software to enable daily medical measurements to be transmitted to a specialist team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. A press release states that the measurements will include weight, blood pressure, and glucose level and these will be monitored by the clinical staff at (more…)