LEUVEN, Belgium and HARTFORD, Conn. – Dr. Robert Lerman has joined LindaCare, a digital health company specializing in remote patient monitoring for chronic disease management, as chief medical officer and vice president of clinical operations. He was most recently corporate vice president of Dignity Health. “I’m tremendously excited to join LindaCare,” said Lerman, in a statement. “Remote monitoring of cardiac implantable devices provides earlier detection of actionable events, reduces health care visits and provides high patient satisfaction. The LindaCare software and service model aggregates and prioritizes patient data from all major manufacturers into one straightforward platform, improving the quality and efficiency of patient care.” Lerman will work closely with LindaCare’s customers focusing on clinical workflow, product optimization, research and the adoption of the company’s OnePulse solution globally. He will also lead the clinical operation of the organization’s remote patient monitoring service.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Atrium Health Foundation will use a $1.1 million grant from The Duke Endowment to establish the “Perfect Care: Personalized Cardiac Care and Collaborative,” with a focus on engaging cardiac patients and their families through remote monitoring.
“We are the first health system in the country to implement this patient-centered monitoring approach with a multi-institutional learning collaborative for cardiac services,” said Dr. Kevin Lobdell, director of regional cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery quality, education and research at Atrium Health, in a statement.
The initiative, which will be piloted at Atrium Health’s Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, seeks to address the specific actions or activities that must occur at each phase of a cardiac patient’s care following surgery. It integrates newer technologies such as wearable passive monitors to assist in achieving high-quality outcomes. The program will emphasize post-acute care to those with limited social support and financial resources by bringing health care directly to patients outside of hospital walls.
In year one, the program will launch at Carolinas Medical Center, Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville and Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast, with the intent to expand to three other major Atrium facilities over the next two years.
As the initiative expands, Perfect Care aims to develop a collaborative for health care teams around the Carolinas to learn together and continuously improve the quality, safety and value of cardiac care. Teams will develop new patient reported outcomes and continuously improve the PROs, as well as mortality and morbidity rates.
“Once developed, this approach could serve as the standard for the peri-procedural home both within Atrium Health’s 40-plus hospitals and for other health systems across the country,” said Dr. Lobdell.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System that could pave the way for home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring under Medicare—and while it’s a positive move forward, industry experts caution that more needs to be done.
“It’s exciting to have CMS open the door to reimbursement for remote patient monitoring,” said Gigi Sorenson, chief clinical offider at telemedicine software/hardware provider GlobalMed. “Those institutions that blazed the path of remotely monitoring their chronically ill patients while absorbing the capital outlay should be praised. Now, with a clear path to reimbursement, it is likely more providers will launch RPM programs.”
CMS made the proposal as part of a larger group of changes to the HHPPS, which include allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as allowable costs on the Medicare cost report form.
Under the proposed changes, home health agencies will not be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring services, but will be able to instead factor the cost of RPM into the costs-per-visit.
The proposed changes could boost a provider’s bottom line and will encourage a wider adoption of RPM in the industry, said Arlene Maxim, a home health expert and speaker.
“In the past, home health agencies have attempted to use telehealth with little success,” she said. “This will all change when the cost is mitigated and potential revenue can be generated.”
The proposals “would give doctors more time to spend with their patients, allow home health agencies to leverage innovation and drive better results for patients,” said Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, in a statement.
CMS expects the proposed changes to help foster the adoption of emerging technologies by home health agencies and result in more effective care planning, as data is shared among patients, their caregivers and their providers.
CMS is accepting comments on the proposed home health rule until Aug. 31.
‘This is a very small step’
WASHINGTON – The home health care industry is cautiously optimistic about Medicare’s proposals to reimburse home health agencies for remote patient monitoring and pay physicians for virtual visits.
In the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program unveiled last week, CMS proposes allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as an allowable cost on the Medicare cost report form. It also proposes paying physicians for virtual check-ins with patients and evaluations of patient-submitted images.
Industry experts want to make clear that, while the proposed changes are a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go.
“This is a very small step toward recognizing the value of remote patient monitoring, as future reimbursement policy considerations will now have the benefit of data regarding cost,” said William Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
While the proposal would position remote patient monitoring as an allowable charge, home health agencies still won’t be reimbursed for them, said Joy Cameron, vice president of policy and innovation at ElevatingHOME and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America.
Still, “as an ‘allowable’ cost under Medicare, agencies will be able to denote those services and costs in their annual reports and it will be a cost of care, rather than additional administrative costs or seen as a surplus when margins are calculated,” she said.
Cameron believes RPM is an increasingly important tool home health agencies can use to collect data on patients.
“This data can be used to monitor issues and concerns, and to help provide data to care planning modifications and needs,” she said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week proposed changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System that would allow home health agencies to be reimbursed for remote patient monitoring under Medicare. The agency made the proposal as part of a larger group of changes to the HHPPS, which include allowing the cost of remote patient monitoring to be reported by home health agencies as allowable costs on the Medicare cost report form. The proposals “would give doctors more time to spend with their patients, allow home health agencies to leverage innovation and drive better results for patients,” said Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, in a statement. Verma said the proposed changes are expected to help foster the adoption of emerging technologies by home health agencies and result in more effective care planning, as data is shared among patients, their caregivers and their providers. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed home health rule until Aug. 31.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Biotricity’s Bioflux cardiac monitoring system has won the MedTech Breakthrough Award 2018 for Best Remote Patient Monitoring Solution. MedTech Breakthrough is an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global health and medical technology market, and designed the awards to recognize those companies that have succeeded in pushing ingenuity and exemplify the best healthcare technology solutions across the globe. “We consider this recognition a true testament to the hard work and passion of the Biotricity team and, more importantly, the impact our remote patient monitoring device is expected to have on the lives of patients,” said Waqaas Al-Siddiq, founder and CEO of Biotricity, in a statement. The Bioflux system is designed to be a complete solution for cardiac monitoring and diagnosis, consisting of the Bioflux device, proprietary software and a 24/7 monitoring center that merges with physicians’ existing platforms and workflows, extending the support a patient receives at a care facility into the their home. The device monitors a patient’s ECG in near real-time, constantly analyzing and collecting data on the device and periodically uploading to the cloud via embedded cellular technology.
PLANO, Texas – BrightLife Services is almost ready to launch a new technology for seniors and patients with chronic conditions that connects multiple home health devices to an all-in-one remote monitoring platform.
As a strategic partner and customer of Sensogram Technologies, BrightLife Services is integrating the Sensoscan vitals tracker and Vital Band fall detection smart watch into the platform. It will also incorporate other devices like Bluetooth scales, glucose monitors, smart pill caps and more.
“They’re bringing all the necessary elements together to make virtual care as good as, or better, than an office visit,” said Pete Ianace, corporate development board member of Sensogram Technologies.
BrightLife Services is a device-agnostic home health platform featuring a 10-inch tablet as its hub. The tablet connects to most digital health devices and features artificial intelligence technology, audio/video and voice capabilities, health care and lifestyle apps, and customized educational content for the user’s condition.
The platform connects to a call center for emergencies, as well as to a network of some 9,000 partner health care providers so users get a dedicated care team.
The new platform is expected to launch on June 1.
Ianace said the announcement that Medicare will begin reimbursing physicians for telehealth visits has opened up the market for remote monitoring.
“Remote care hasn’t been effective in the past because there was no way for doctors to be compensated to treat patients at home,” he said. “Now you’re probably going to see 10 more companies doing this kind of service in the next year.”
BrightLife Services will be offered directly to consumers at different levels on a monthly subscription basis—no long-term contracts. The company will send a representative to the user’s home to install and set up the equipment, and then it’s ready go.
‘Technologies available today are finally making true home health care possible’
SAN JOSE, Calif. – VitalConnect is rolling out its Vista Solution remote patient monitoring platform at Mercy Virtual and Mercy Hospital St. Louis, with plans to implement the technology at additional hospitals within the health system.
“This is a huge step in providing high-quality care both in and outside of the hospital,” said Nersi Nazari, CEO of VitalConnect.
The Vista Solution platform continuously monitors and displays real-time vital sign data, out-of-range notifications and historical data to health care providers. It works with the VitalPatch biosensor, a bandage-sized device worn by the patient that allows wireless health monitoring.
Nazari said the time is right for technology like VitalConnect’s.
“Home health care has not been reasonably scalable with modern day medicine until now,” he said. “Technologies available today are finally making true home health care possible in an economical way.”
A recent randomized study from Brigham & Women’s Hospital using the VitalPatch biosensor found a 52% reduction in the acute-care episode of care, including 30 days post-discharge, and a 67% reduction in total costs.
“This trend of lowering costs, while providing quality alternatives to expensive hospital care, is important for the health care industry at large and will help drive the largest shift that we have seen in decades,” said Nazari. “Devices that can passively collect data and monitor a patient while they rest and recover are critical to delivering this care, as well as keeping costs down.”
With the remote patient monitoring market estimated to be worth $15 billion and expected to double in the next five years, Nazari said the type of monitoring that VitalConnect offers will increasingly become the standard of care.
“We are seeing innovative health care systems adopt these cutting-edge monitoring technologies and they will pave the way for the rest of the country,” he said.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Reliq Health has expanded its contract with Texas-based Paz Home Health to provide its iUGO Care remote patient monitoring and telemedicine solution. The revised contract increases the number of Paz Home Health subscribers by 5,000 patients, bringing the total to more than 15,000 patients. “Paz Home Health has successfully demonstrated the benefits of using Reliq’s iUGO Care remote patient monitoring system to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital admissions and ER visits in their patients,” said Dr. Lisa Crossley, CEO of Reliq Health, in a statement. Paz Home Health leveraged Reliq Health’s iUGO technology to achieve Approved Provider status for in-home telemonitoring from Superior HealthPlan, a managed care organization that works with the State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission to deliver care through approved providers to Medicare and Medicaid patients. Paz Home Health provides care to patients across 16 counties in southern Texas.
CINCINNATI – CHI Health at Home will use technology from HomeCare Vitals to provide advanced remote care management of patients with congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes.
“What we hope to demonstrate very quickly is that our technology is not only the most patient-affordable solution on the market today, but that it will also allow CHI Health at Home to achieve unprecedented clinical outcomes for its vast network of chronic care patients, which is in keeping with CHI’s commitment to patient-centered, affordable care,” said Dr. Suresh Nayak, co-founder of HomeCare Vitals, in a statement.
HomeCareVitals technology is flexible, scalable and capable of remotely monitoring any patient population, Nayak said. It can also be tailored to meet individual patient needs at all levels of technology expertise and comfort.
In pilot testing, the technology was shown to reduce readmissions by as much as 65% and patient compliance and satisfaction rates reached 95%.
“As we deliver care under an increasingly risk-based reimbursement model, we are excited to become a development partner in HomeCareVital’s scalable population health management technology,” said Rodney Plunkett, vice president of population health management at CHI Health at Home, in a statement. “Supporting trialed innovative technologies that solve critical health care problems is at the heart of our mission at CHI Health at Home.”
CHI Health at Home provides home care and supplemental staffing, hospice, home respiratory care, home infusion therapy and medical transportation in more than 50 locations across eight states.