Patient education extends value-based care to 9 million in TeleHealth Services/UbiCare partnership

Hospitals have long been defined by their number of beds. As healthcare shifts its focus to value-based care, hospitals must now take a patient-centered care approach, effectively counting “heads not beds.”

The recent partnership between TeleHealth Services and UbiCare (announced in December) impacts 9 million of those heads with the new Tigr@Home patient engagement solution that provides condition-specific education care plans from pre-op through discharge.

“With bundled payment plans becoming the norm, hospitals must manage a patient’s episode of care rather than just the time spent in the hospital,” said UbiCare CEO Betsy Weaver. “That includes setting patient expectations and sharing reliable healthcare information with them —creating a better patient experience.”

In fact, setting patient expectations is proven to engage patients in managing their own care and avoiding complications and readmissions, in turn driving down the overall cost of healthcare.

Boston University’s Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) found that patient education helped hospitals reduce readmissions up to 40 percent. Another well-known study by Dr. Judith Hibbard out of the University of Oregon found that activated patients have care costs 21 percent lower in the year after surgery compared to patients with low levels of engagement.

Tigr@Home kicked off with service for two of the most critical patient populations: new and expectant parents and joint replacement surgery patients.

“Tigr@Home is an effective and efficient way to extend vital care and recovery information across the continuum of care,” said Dan Nathan, president of TeleHealth Services. “We are excited to expand the success of our interactive patient engagement systems to the home and post-acute facilities. These new tools will allow hospitals to provide more meaningful use of their patient portal investments, while allowing their patients access to dynamic, personalized care plans in additional settings to increase the efficacy of their care.”

Why new and expectant parents? Women are often referred to as the “Chief Medical Officers” of their homes. They handle 80 percent of healthcare decisions and set the tone for health in their families. Hospitals need to improve the patient experience during pregnancy and childbirth especially, as improving patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores play a greater role in hospital reimbursements.

 An independent Deloitte study of military families receiving digital education about pregnancy and child care found that these patient-provider communications resulted in:
  • 84 percent take better care of their families,
  • 76 percent take better care of themselves, and
  • 74 percent have better connections with their hospitals.

Why joint replacement surgery patients? CMS’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) initiative (beginning April 1 in 790 hospitals) has set the expectation that hospitals focus on reducing readmissions and keeping patients satisfied while they manage the entire episode of care.

“Reaching beyond the hospital walls — both pre-operatively and throughout recovery — hospitals will be well-prepared for succeeding with Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement and other bundled payment programs and value-based care initiatives,” said Weaver.

Beginning with these primary populations, Tigr@Home enables hospitals to seamlessly activate patients and improve their experience and satisfaction.

Learn more about the partnership online.

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