Can telemonitoring reduce hospitalization and cost of care? A health plan’s experience in managing patients with heart failure

Telemonitoring provides a potentially useful tool for disease and case management of those patients who are likely to benefit from frequent and regular monitoring by health care providers. Since 2008, Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) has implemented a telemonitoring program that specifically targets those members with heart failure. This study assesses the impact of this telemonitoring program by examining claims data of those GHP Medicare Advantage plan members who were enrolled in the program, measuring its impact in terms of all-cause hospital admission rates, readmission rates, and total cost of care. The results indicate significant reductions in probability of all-cause admission (odds ratio [OR] 0.77; P<0.01), 30-day and 90-day readmission (OR 0.56, 0.62; P<0.05), and cost of care (11.3%; P<0.05). The estimated return on investment was 3.3. These findings imply that telemonitoring can be an effective add-on tool for managing elderly patients with heart failure.