A Solid cHealth Strategy Can Save Patients $1,000-Plus Annually

post EHR worldConnected health, or cHealth, can possibly save patients with major chronic conditions between $1,000 and $2,000 annually, according to a new report from Deloitte.

The report, “Accelerating the Adoption of Connected Health,” explores how the increasingly competitive healthcare market is prompting many healthcare organizations to streamline and improve care delivery, including increasing care accessibility and affordability by enabling patient-provider connectivity “anytime and anywhere.”

Specifically, these health care organizations are exploring ways to:

  1. Facilitate communication between providers and consumers,
  2. Engage consumers, and
  3. Support prevention and management of chronic care outside traditional settings.

cHealth is the collective term for telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, mHealth, digital health and eHealth services and allows for remote communication, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.

Deloitte analysis shows that a well-planned cHealth strategy that uses remote monitoring and telehealth for a targeted, high-cost patient population has the potential to increase health care cost-effectiveness under value-based payment models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) or global capitation. The Deloitte report features cHealth scenarios applied to patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), a common and costly chronic condition in the US. Deloitte analysis suggests that using cHealth strategies such as remote patient monitoring or telehealth for a patient with CHF might save between $1,054 and $1,956 per patient per year.

Across the spectrum of care, cHealth strategies may help to reduce costs and improve health outcomes, patient satisfaction and long-term consumer engagement. Despite obstacles to slow cHealth adoption, technology developers and healthcare organizations should consider of cHealth savings, the investment costs for new cHealth technology and targeted strategies for the patients who may benefit most.

A recent Deloitte study on consumer engagement found that among consumers with major chronic conditions, tech-based monitoring has jumped from 22% to 39% from 2013 to 2015. Consumers with major health issues generally show the highest levels of engagement and the biggest increases in three major consumer engagement areas (partnering with providers, tapping online resources and relying on technology), a promising trend indicating that those who may have the greatest need are, in fact, moving in that direction.

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