Humana launches telehealth pilot targeting CHF patients

Humana, one of the largest publicly traded health benefits providers in the country, is launching a nine-month telehealth pilot that will provide in-home monitoring to 450 Humana Medicare Advantage members in Ohio who have congestive heart failure (CHF), according to an mHIMSS article.

The Humana Cares Heart Failure Remote Monitoring Program will include Bluetooth-enabled scales and blood pressure monitors, linked to a cellular modem and Interactive Voice Response Technology. The pilot will be managed by Humana Cares/SeniorBridge, Humana's national chronic care division, which serves more than 300,000 members, their families and caregivers.

The Louisville, Ky.-based insurer is partnering with AMC Health on the project. Under the project's guidelines, care managers will work with AMC Health nurses to analyze data from the pilot in real time against national CHF standards of care, then provide coaching and follow-up care and arrange for an appointment with a physician if needed.

"With AMC Health's assistance, we'll identify our members most at risk and whose conditions are deteriorating in an effort to reduce readmissions and mortality, and prevent unnecessary emergency department visits," said Humana Cares/SeniorBridge President Eric C. Rackow, MD, in a written statement. "We're confident that by supplementing the existing efforts of our care managers with AMC Health's remote patient monitoring solutions, we'll be successful in influencing our members to modify unhealthy behaviors and comply with treatment regimens, which will in turn improve their quality of life."

In 2012, Humana Cares completed a year-long 34-state project in which 1,000 members with CHF were given the Intel-GE Care Innovations Guide. Officials are still analyzing results of that pilot, according to the article.

Recently, Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health partnered with its parent organization, Ascension Health Alliance, in a joint venture to officially launch a remote care management program with the goal of scaling the program on a national level. A 2010 federally-funded ARRA Beacon Community Grant study wrapped up in December 2012, successfully demonstrating that remote monitoring reduced the 30-day readmission rate for patients discharged with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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