An at-home telehealth pilot program conducted by Arizona-based Banner Health and technology vendor Philips for patients with multiple chronic conditions has resulted in significant reductions in readmissions rates and healthcare costs.

The Intensive Ambulatory Care (IAC) pilot program, part of the overall telehealth program at Banner, which operates 28 acute-care hospitals in multiple states, focused on the most complex and highest cost patients.

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“By focusing on those patients who generate the greatest healthcare spend, we're able to help these individuals get better care in the comfort of their own homes, while also helping health systems achieve the financial reductions they need,” said Derek Smith, a senior vice president at Philips.

As part of the pilot, Banner and Philips evaluated the results of 135 patients to determine the effectiveness of the IAC program in meeting clinical and financial goals. The 135 patients evaluated where those enrolled in IAC who had data available beginning one year prior to entering the program, and six months of data after entering the program.

An analysis of the results of each patient’s first six months demonstrated that the program:

*Reduced costs of care by 27 percent—primarily driven by a reduction in hospitalization rates and days in the hospital, as well as a reduction in professional service and outpatient costs.

*Reduced acute and long term care costs by 32 percent, primarily due to a significant decrease in hospitalizations.  

*Reduced hospitalizations by 45 percent. Prior to enrollment in the IAC program, there were 11.5 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month; after enrollment, the acute and long-term hospitalization rate dropped to 6.3 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month.

“The results of our at-home telehealth pilot with Philips have been dramatic and are indicative of the exponential success such a program could have by engaging patients in their own care and building a strong support system around them,” said Hargobind Khurana, M.D., senior medical director of health management for Banner.

Launched in 2013, the IAC program is designed so that intensivist primary care physicians, nurses and other members of the care team collect and analyze objective and subjective health data to identify early stages of deterioration to prevent adverse events. Recently, Banner enrolled its 500th patient into the program.

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