Remote patient monitoring or telehealth devices can provide an unobtrusive solution for improving the management of chronic diseases. According to a recent study, the remote patient monitoring market is predicted to hit $295M by 2015.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which was signed into law on March 23, 2010 the incentives under Medicare for hospitals will be changing and these changes are right around the corner. Beginning October 1, 2012, hospitals will receive significant penalties in their Medicare reimbursements if patients with certain chronic conditions are readmitted to the hospital within a certain threshold of 30 to 90 days.
Patients with heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, psychoses, and GI conditions have a much higher rate of hospital readmissions. The reasons for these readmissions include improper communication of discharge plans, poor patient compliance including lack of compliance with medication, inadequate follow up care, and the insufficient use of supportive service.
Family members are going to be challenged to help their elderly family members understand their discharge plans, coordinate various service providers and maintain a level of communication with all the important health care providers that are part of the caregiver network for their family member. New delivery systems are being piloted across the country and many of these include components of telehealth. It is important to understand the role that remote patient monitoring can play and the constantly changing resources that are available.