WORCESTER, Mass. –Fallon Health, a health insurance and care provider, last year partnered with Minneapolis-based Healthsense to study the impact of remote patient monitoring on members of its NaviCare program. The result? Cost savings and, now, an expansion of monitoring services.
The study found that not only were patients staying healthier at home longer, but connecting Healthsense’s remote monitoring services with Fallon’s model of care for seniors reduced total medical expenses by $687 per member per month, a nearly 16% reduction in expenses for pilot members compared to a control group.
“Long-term care has always been one of the biggest line-item costs to us,” said Kevin McGovern, treasurer at Fallon Health. “If there’s not a financial return, we’re not going to stay in business.”
The study was so successful that Fallon Health recently decided to expand monitoring services to all members of its NaviCare program—a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan and a Senior Care Options program for people age 65 and older. The program currently has an enrollment of more than 4,800 members.
Since Fallon Health is at full risk for the people in its programs, cost is always one of the driving factors in its use of technology, said Kristine Bostek, vice president of senior care for the company.
“Some patients cost less than the reimbursement we receive from CMS and the state of Massachusetts, some cost more,” she said. “It’s up to us to make up the rest, and it’s our responsibility to manage the cost and quality of care for these people.”
The study helps prove Healthsense’s value, says Bryan Adams, chief technology officer.
“We knew in our bones that the technology worked, but to have the validation of that study meant a lot,” he said. “The results were an opportunity for us to say quantitatively, ‘This is what better care looks like.’”
The partnership has also helped Healthsense refine its product and operations, Adams says.
“The details about how you convince a senior that (monitoring) is a good idea, or how you deliver information to a caregiver in a way they can use it—that came from Fallon’s expertise and experience,” he said.