Health Factors aims for 20% cost savings for South Dakota
VERMILLION, S.D. – A partnership between Health Factors Inc., the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business is investigating how at-home monitoring might save the state health care dollars.
The partnership is focused on the impact of using at-home monitoring for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia and congestive heart failure (CHF) who are at risk for complications that could lead to hospitalization.
“Since these conditions are a primary driver of health care costs, it made sense to explore ways to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs,” said Dan Spors, chief commercial officer at Health Factors, a company that provides connected health programs and solutions.
The first step in the partnership was to have MBA students in the Beacom School of Business work with Health Factors to study claims data from the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. The study, which took place last summer, looked at how using at-home monitoring to delay or prevent hospital admissions would impact hospital costs.
Results from the study will be used to explore the viability of a business based in South Dakota that would provide remote monitoring services to reduce health care costs.
“The next step will be to move to some pilot programs that could have direct benefit to patients and could demonstrate the cost effectiveness of remote monitoring,” said Spors. “We have data in place now looking at what this pilot might be.”
While Health Factors is not ready to formally announce any time frames for next steps, Spors said the company is currently working on models that focus on achieving a 20% cost savings for the state.
“The models we are working on now utilize medical protocols and innovative staffing to include telehealth monitors and medical scribes,” he said.
Health Factors is also looking at the technology that would be needed to support the models, such as devices in the home that help the patient communicate clearly their information and/or condition.
“The sooner you can act, the better the outcomes for the patient and lower costs for everyone,” said Spors.
The GOED provided funding for the partnership through its proof-of-concept program.
“Our office wants to be sure this concept is viable economically and technologically for the state,” said Mel Ustad, director of the GOED Office of Commercialization. “We have additional programs to help them launch and grow a business if that is what’s going to happen.”