Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

More Huge Numbers Regarding the Benefits of Technology in Health!

The following analysis appeared a few days ago.

Remote Monitoring Technologies Could Shave Health Care Costs by $197 Billion

Broadband-based Applications Can Improve Care for Chronic Disease

The United States could cut $197 billion from its health care bill over the next 25 years by widespread use of remote monitoring to track the vital signs of patients with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure and diabetes, according to a new study released today by economist Robert Litan. Litan said that savings would be maximized by public policy adjustments that encourage health care institutions and individual caregivers to accelerate the use of remote monitoring.

“Remote monitoring can spot health problems sooner, reduce hospitalization, improve life quality and save money,” Litan said at a health care forum sponsored by Better Health Care Together (www.betterhealthcaretogether.org).

But he warned that adoption of remote monitoring and other telemedicine opportunities will be slowed and benefits reduced unless the United States does a better job of reimbursing health care organizations for remote care and encouraging continued investment in broadband infrastructure that can be tailored to meet the privacy, security, and reliability requirements for telemedicine applications.

Failure to make the right policy adjustments will cut estimated health care savings by almost $44 billion over the 25-year period, Litan estimated.

Full analysis follows here:

http://betterhealthcaretogether.org/news?&ctid=3&cid=11598&cgid=1

Some commentary is found here:

Report: Patient-monitoring tech could save $200B in health costs by 2033

By Nancy Ferris

Published on October 24, 2008

Remotely monitoring patients with chronic diseases could cut nearly $200 billion from the country’s health care costs in the next 25 years, according to a new study by economist Robert Litan.

Public policy changes would be necessary to achieve the full savings, Litan said, but even without them, the technology could reduce health care costs by $153 billion.

Litan’s report, “Vital Signs Via Broadband: Remote Health Monitoring Transmits Savings, Enhances Lives,” was released today at a press conference in Washington. AT&T and Better Health Care Together, a nonprofit consortium that promotes health care reform, funded his research. Litan is vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Besides reducing costs, remote monitoring could improve health outcomes and the quality of life for about 10 million people, Litan said. He analyzed potential effects on patients with four conditions: congestive heart failure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic skin ulcers.

The savings would come primarily by reducing emergency room visits, hospitalizations and hospital lengths of stay. “What this technology is able to do is eliminate a lot of false visits” to hospitals, Litan said, referring to unnecessary visits caused by sudden downturns in a patient’s health.

Remote monitoring involves equipping patients with devices such as heart and blood pressure monitors or blood sugar meters, then transmitting meter readings to a health care center that tracks the data. The goal is to spot problems as they develop and take steps right away rather than waiting for them to become crises.

More here:

http://www.govhealthit.com/online/news/350643-1.html

This seems to me to be a serious report from reputable people who have thought hard about how we can reach sustainability in the Health Care sector.

There have to be lessons in all this for Australia.

Minister Roxon – are you listening and reading?

David.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a VERY Important issue for Australia, we have the final submissions for Australia's new broadband infrastructure due late November, but there has been virtually no discussion about the health requirements for this mamoth infrastructure investment. The time to make a noise about this is now. After the submissions there will be a review process over a few months. Health groups need to let the Goverment know what their needs are and they need to let them know now. Universal access would be a good start, this includes affordability at the primary/community care level where needs and benefits are very high

Anonymous said...

It is indeed a VERY important issue for Australia and the all pervasive health system. Even so an enormous amount of money has been spent in the last 7 years or so on healthIT by the Federal Health Department and there is not much to show for it. Consequently, there is a Mt Everest of Skepticism which must first be overcome before healthIT receives further substantial funding at a Federal level. And before that can happen the root causes of the problem that have led us to where we are today must be identified and fixed.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed a VERY important issue for Australia and the all pervasive health system. Even so an enormous amount of money has been spent in the last 7 years or so on healthIT by the Federal Health Department and there is not much to show for it. Consequently, the Mt Everest of Skepticism must first be overcome before healthIT receives further substantial funding at a Federal level. And before that can happen the root causes of the problem, that have led us to where we are today, must be identified and fixed.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt the we need to identify and fix the root causes of the problems. The only trouble is that the agenda to attend to the healthcare IT issues(if you believe that an agenda exists) is not in sync with the broadband decision agenda. The money will be spent on broadband (regardless), and uncoordinated as it maybe, those making the decisions need input for the healthcare community to broaden their perspective. Perhaps we need to facilitate some coordinated healthcare IT input ???

Anonymous said...

Coordinated healthcare IT input has merit. It should be possible to put the entire case in a document of less than 10 A4 pages - should it not?

A small group of approx 5 individuals should be able to get the job done in therequired timeframe - should they not?