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Home monitoring technology to reduce healthcare insurance costs: Biotronik

Iain Morris
September 3, 2014
 
New home monitoring technology will bring about a number of benefits for heart patients without increasing costs for healthcare payers or providers, according to a study carried out by medical devices company Biotronik.

The German organization has been investigating the financial impact of remote monitoring from a provider’s perspective.

It says its tests have shown that hospitals and physicians incur no additional costs as a result of introducing remote monitoring technology, and that payers were even able to reduce costs compared with “conventional in-office follow-up”.

The technology was also seen to reduce total physician time per patient.

“Patients and physicians prefer remote follow-up as it contributes to better patient health and alerts physicians to the patients who most need their attention,” said Hein Heidbuchel of Belgium’s Heart Center Hasselt and Hasselt University.

“These study results underscore that reorgnanizing care to remotely monitor heart patients also makes economic sense,” added Heidbuchel. “This is the future of medicine – seeing patients in the most efficient way possible, while maintaining a high quality of care.”

The study examined 312 patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators and found that the follow-up costs over a two-year study period did not differ much between home monitoring and control study groups, at €204 per patient for home monitoring and €213 for in-office follow-ups.

For payers – such as insurers or national healthcare systems – costs per patient with home monitoring were €4,307, compared with €4,881 for a patient using traditional services.
Biotronik (Berlin, Germany) says this proves there is room to properly compensate providers for these services and reimburse remote monitoring technology.

“Given home monitoring’s lower costs for payers, physicians should be adequately reimbursed for remote follow-up, as should the technology itself,” said Heidbuchel. “With excellent clinical results as shown in previous studies … there is strong clinical support for remote monitoring.”
 
 
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