Among the numerous chronic diseases impacting the Medicare population, diabetes is one of the most prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26% of the elderly adult population aged 65 and older live with diabetes both diagnosed and undiagnosed. Ensuring diabetic patients can properly manage their condition depends on their access to the right tools and support. Implementing programs like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) for a practice’s diabetic population can be especially beneficial because they help to improve financial outcomes, patient engagement, and clinical outcomes.
RPM is a fast-growing healthcare technology accelerated even further by the COVID-19 atmosphere. For practices with diabetic patients, the opportunity to improve clinical outcomes with RPM can be especially impactful. By offering patient status measurements on a regular, ongoing basis, providers receive a much clearer picture of the patient’s progress with their chronic conditions in between scheduled office visits or telehealth video calls.
While the provider would not be reviewing this data every day, RPM can alert providers in real-time if a patient’s data appears dangerously out of range. This way, they can intervene sooner and address any potential health complications or concerns. The ongoing collection of data also increases the effectiveness of the patient’s weekly or biweekly care with a chronic care coordinator.
One way diabetic patients can participate in a RPM program is by using digital blood glucose monitors to capture and communicate daily blood sugar levels through a small cell-enabled hub in the patient’s home. This can then lead to improved adherence and improved communication between patients and providers, according to Health Recovery Solutions.
Diabetes uses a vast amount of financial resources in the U.S. According to the American Diabetes Association, the total economic cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2017 was $327 billion. In addition to the great total economic cost for diabetes, the medical cost per person with diabetes is substantial as well. The CDC states that medical costs for individuals with diabetes increased from $8,417 to $9,601 between the years of 2012 and 2017.
Implementing RPM into a practice’s diabetic care management plan can save practices and patients healthcare costs. Some of the savings associated with RPM include reduced physical office visits, decreased transportation costs, and savings associated with decreased unnecessary emergency room visits. For example, a study conducted at the University of Berkley concluded that “remote digital diabetes management is associated with decreased medical spending…which translates into a $88 savings per member per month at one year.”
Keeping diabetic patients engaged in their personalized health plan is essential to their diabetes care management. Patients should feel comfortable with their care plan so that they are likely to adhere to it. It’s also important that the RPM solution implemented can gauge the patient’s comfort level with technology and match them with the solutions and devices they will be most comfortable using.
When patients feel at ease with their solution, it can lead to higher patient engagement. RPM does this by allowing them to report their daily blood glucose readings and to communicate regularly with an experienced registered nurse.
According to a recent article from Telemedicine and e-health, patients with increased engagement and participation with RPM were associated with improved glycemic control outcomes.
Multiple studies have shown that compared to typical self-monitoring, RPM can help improve overall diabetic patient health. One consistent clinical outcome that has been reported among the diabetic population using RPM is improved HbA1c levels.
A study reported by Health Recovery Solutions states that patients that used telehealth to manage their type 2 diabetes had lower HbA1c levels and a quicker rate of decline in HbA1c levels compared to the usual care group.
In addition to decreases in HbA1c levels, RPM has had the following impact:
RPM can be a valuable resource for endocrinologists but can be a challenge to implement in-house. As an extension of your practice, Wellbox can seamlessly implement its RPM solution to assist with your diabetic patient population. If you are interested in learning more about Remote Patient Monitoring and how it can amplify your current Chronic Care Management efforts, contact us to get started.
Designed to improve clinical outcomes for diabetic populations, adopting telehealth solutions like Chronic Care Management and Remote Patient Monitoring can benefit both your practice and its patients. Discover how by downloading our latest whitepaper.