News Feature | May 25, 2015

Telehealth Pilot Shortens Hospital Stays By 24 Days

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer


Fewer admissions and shortened stays are just two of the benefits of Banner Health's Intensive Ambulatory Care pilot program, according to a review from the hospital.

A 27 percent reduction in the cost of care is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of Banner Health’s telehealth pilot program. According to mHealth News, the program also reduced long-term and acute care costs by 32 percent.

Before implementing the pilot program, Banner saw 11 hospitalizations per 100 patients every month. After the pilot was installed, the number of hospitalizations fell to six per 100 patients per month, writes Fierce Health IT. In addition, the number of days patients were in the hospital dropped from about 90 to near 66.

“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 Dr. Hargobind Khurana, senior medical director of Health Management, Banner in a press release. “As we continue to expand this program, we anticipate seeing further proof that telehealth programs can address readmissions rates, reduce costs, and improve the health and quality of life for patients with multiple chronic diseases.”

iHealth Beat writes the benefits of the program were evaluated using the outcomes for 135 patients. The patients all had data from one year prior to entering the IAC program and six months after starting.

“Telehealth is opening up choices for patients and providers, giving them the freedom to transform how, when and where proactive care is delivered to patients,” said Derek Smith, SVP, Hospital to Home, Philips. “By focusing on those patients who generate the greatest health care 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.”