From early detection of impending heart failure from as far as 3,000 miles away, to the latest wearable wrapped around wrists or bodies, or simply sitting in pockets, telehealth is having a radical impact on the healthcare industry.
The range of telehealth and telemedicine services has expanded in the two years since the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) last conducted its telehealth survey. While the majority of organizations had telehealth programs in place in both 2013 and 2015, of those that didn’t, the number of respondents who said they would launch a service in the next 12 months nearly tripled over two years (64 percent in 2015 versus 26 percent in 2013), according to new market metrics from the Healthcare Intelligence Network's (HIN) Telehealth & Telemedicine in 2015: Remote Monitoring, Wearable Devices Upgrade Burgeoning Industry survey, conducted in April of 116 healthcare organizations.
To address expanding population targets for telehealth services, the 2015 survey documented telehealth use for homebound, severe behavioral, at-risk for falls, and high-utilizers for the first time. Following are seven more facts about the burgeoning telehealth industry.
- Three fourths of respondents (74 percent) said they expect Medicare to add remote patient monitoring to its list of covered telehealth services in the next 12 months;
- Of clinical applications for telehealth, remote monitoring jumped from 57 percent to 63 percent;
- Self-care/self-management tools and e-mail reminders remained among top telehealth tools for patients and health plan members;
- The use of telephonic advice lines decreased from 55 percent in 2013 to 26 percent in 2015;
- The nurse case manager has primary responsibility for telehealth, according to 32 percent of respondents;
- Thirty-five percent of respondents said that bed days was the utilization metric most impacted by telehealth programs; and
- Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they are reimbursed for telehealth from private payors.
2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine delivers actionable new telehealth metrics on technologies, program components, successes and ROI from 115 healthcare organizations. This 60-page report, now in its fourth year, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and telemedicine initiatives, with historical perspective from 2009 to present.