Growth Curve-Ball – Remote Care Offers a Sustainable Solution to our Patient Population Boom Problem
By Martin Trepanier, Eng. PMP. CPHIMS-CA
The United States spends significantly more on healthcare than its peer nations, yet still falls short on quality and efficiency in care delivery.
This isn’t a simple case of mishandled money or resources; this is the result of the nature of illness in America itself. Chronic Disease (CD) accounts for 50% of the patient population while accounting for 90% of healthcare expenditure.
Couple this with baby boomers now entering the equation as the fastest growing CD patient population, at this rate, we simply won’t be able to keep up with the demand for care with traditional resources alone.
Batting for New Models of Care
The pandemic opened the floodgates for innovative, yet primarily temporary, methods of care to be accessed by patients across the United States. With the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanding their fee schedule to include virtual and telehealth care provision, these new models of care were quickly realized to be more than a temporary solution.
Policy surrounding digital and remote health services is echoing this, quickly swinging in favor of these care delivery models and the clear benefits they pose for patients and providers. This reimagining of the way we deliver care is more suited to the key patient populations whose needs challenge our healthcare systems the most, and whose quality of life is simply not improved by standard models of care.
Chronic Disease = Continuous Care
Chronic disease is just that, chronic. When it comes to treating these life-long diseases, care must happen continuously, and primarily at home. This was true even before new models of care like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) became widely adopted.
However, instead of manual entry of biometric data, RPM now allows for continuous care. This keeps both patients and their providers continually aware of key health indicators (like glucose levels and blood pressure) that allow them to treat underlying disease and prevent complications before emergencies occur.
Managing chronic conditions also requires patient self-care. For these populations, health happens between appointments, and is determined by numerous lifestyles and choices that impact their underlying diseases. With remote models of care, like RPM, these patients receive support between appointments, and gain personalized feedback based on the biometric data gathered. This guides them to make better choices that lead to improved health outcomes for them.
This capacity means that Chronic Care doesn’t have to be primarily urgent, and that the quality of life of these patients can be meaningfully improved. What’s more, reducing the amount of urgent and clinical resources used to support CD patients in turn lowers healthcare expenditure, freeing up resources that can be reallocated to other patient populations.
Pain Point Management
But, delivering care in-community (and literally door-to-door) requires expertise that falls outside of traditional healthcare delivery processes. For health organizations wanting to extend their care provision outside the four walls of the hospital, managing these missing ingredients can become a logistical burden that hinders program growth.
To resolve these roadblocks and get over the pain points obstructing mainstream scale and adoption of RPM technologies, healthcare organizations are creating innovative partnerships with logistical and operational leaders to deliver care where it’s needed most.
These partnerships, which fuse the expertise of two previously separate industry verticals, are allowing health systems and providers to evolve their care models accordingly; all while retaining their focus on providing quality care to their patients.
By managing the pain points that obstruct transformative scale, Digital Health Logistics partners help health systems meet the rapidly evolving remote care needs and demands of their patient populations.
The inherent value in partnering to scale these new models of care is clear, with its benefits extending to all stakeholders in the healthcare delivery process.
These partnerships enable clinicians to extend their reach beyond the clinic and improve patient health outcomes; they allow health organizations to scale their programs to reach more patients, and decrease expenditure in key areas to allow for further innovation and progress; and, perhaps most importantly, they enable patients to access value-based care that has real, positive impacts on their ability to effectively manage their health.
Bringing it All Together
Partnering to design effective, mainstream care delivery systems has the potential to shift the unsustainable expenditure and population growth trends challenging our healthcare delivery system. These care delivery models can also meaningfully improve the lives of the largest-growing patient populations in the country.
As these innovative partnerships continue to develop, impacts are being felt across the board, and are quickly helping us reimagine, and reconstruct, the way we deliver effective, quality care.
Find out more about the logistical and operational support that’s enabling new models of care to reach transformative scale here.