Contributed by Lydia Chan
Technology has helped simplify health care and reduce the high costs associated with chronic care management since the days of the first artificial heart. Today, a different kind of technology is also playing a major role in managing health care costs. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) can reduce expenses associated with chronic care, limit hospital admissions, and take chronic care out of the hospital and bring it into the patient’s home, which translates into better patient outcomes. Remote monitoring programs allow for real-time collection of patient data from the comfort of the patient’s home. The patient needn’t do anything but relax and focus on their recovery.
Though insurers have been reluctant to cover the cost of remote patient monitoring (due to mistrust over outcome data), the technology has proven quite useful in a number of ways.
Caring for patients with a chronic condition can be costly and logistically difficult. Getting them to appointments and assessing whether they’re following doctor’s instructions can also be a hit-or-miss proposition. Once patients have been discharged, determining their condition is essential and can be unreliable. Through programs like Dynosense.com, which provides accurate, timely and secure information, patient health outcomes improve and healthcare costs are reduced.
Determining whether patients are following their care plans post-discharge is an important point among health care providers. The most useful features of remote patient monitoring include its timeliness and ability to get patient data to the right people. Doctors, therapists and other health care specialists who play a role in the patient’s rehabilitation and ongoing care can be informed immediately with specifics about the patient’s health data.
Statistics show that the majority of seniors (more than 60 percent) want to age in place rather than move to a senior living facility. Remote patient technology makes that possible for a great many older Americans. It can be especially valuable for seniors whose loved ones are trying to provide care from a great distance.
With insurers sometimes wary of underwriting RPM applications, it’s important to identify who the best candidates are for RPM technology. In general, individuals with health problems which could be improved through such capabilities are good candidates. It’s important to note that patients must be willing and cooperative if the system is to work as intended. There are concerns that those who change their minds or prove uncooperative could be used by skeptical insurers to point to such cases as examples of a flawed and failed system and technology. Fortunately, for seniors, many Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will cover the cost of RPM, and other states are quickly catching up.
Self-care is always an important factor in a case of chronic care management, both for the care subject and the caregiver. The long-term health of both depend to a great extent on following a healthy diet and getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Where pain and symptoms like anxiety or depression are involved, effective self-care might include CBD oil (cannabidiol), a compound found in cannabis. It gives you a feeling of euphoria and relief, important benefits from someone who’s managing chronic pain and related symptoms.
Technology can be a powerful advantage in the care of individuals suffering from a chronic condition. RPM technology helps keep such patients out of the hospital because health care providers can keep tabs on their progress and health maintenance upkeep, which reduces healthcare costs and improves patient outcomes by letting them stay at home and convalesce in comfortable and familiar surroundings.
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