With the pressure to extend health services to patients across different settings some organizations are using or considering the use of technology to provide healthcare services without the need for patients to be in a physicians office.
The big benefit of using these ‘Telehealth’ services would seem to be cost effectiveness. But are they really cheaper? CSC tries to address these concerns in a new report titled, TeleServices for Better Health: Better Outcomes, More Cost-Effective.
The report quotes several examples of specific cost savings, one of which involved US Veterans Administration. They implemented telehealth programs to monitor patients who had been hospitalized, in an effort to reduce re-admissions and to reduce bed days. The average cost per patient of the VA home TeleHealth program was annualized at $1,600 per year, versus the $13,000 cost for direct home care, or the $77,000 per year cost for nursing home care.
The report, written by Jared Rhoads and Clive Flashman, concludes that, “Overall, the evidence is very supportive of the idea that in the right circumstances, TeleHealth can be highly cost-effective.
Of course, this makes logical sense, but it’s nice to see it in the form of a PDF report that can be downloaded for free here.