Could Telehealth Provide Savings for Medicare?

As we get into the heated debates of the upcoming presidential election, the biggest area of debate will be the same topic that breaks up businesses and marriages, and leads others to great success: Money.  Sure that is simplifying something that is far more complex than me paying my bills, but in reality is it that different?

When you don’t have money you don’t spend it, and when you want/need more money you come up with ways to earn more, or you cut spending in one area to pay for another.  A new study suggests that telehealth may be able to provide a 10%, or more, reduction in healthcare costs for chronically ill patients.

According to an article at doctors were able to reduce spending between 7.7% and 13.3% per person, per quarter using the Health Buddy Program.  While that only equates to about $300-500 per person, per quarter, when you consider the huge number of people using Medicare that could translate to massive savings.

According to the article 80% of US healthcare spending goes towards treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, and COPD.  Now imagine lowering those costs by about 10% and you see the magnitude of influence this could have.

The Health Buddy Program involves giving patients a small handheld device that they use to input metrics such as weight, blood pressure, and other information tied to their diagnosis.  This allows doctors to respond more efficiently and effectively to changes in the patient’s health saving everyone time and money.

As I listen to news reports about the billions of dollars going to healthcare, and how in debt our country is I can’t help but wonder why we aren’t more actively pursuing ideas like this.  Americans are some of the most ingenious people on earth so why aren’t we taking advantage of that brilliance to solve these problems instead of leaving them with politicians who have lost touch with reality?

I can’t think of a single business on earth that would not gladly reduce spending by 10% while still operating at the same level.  The technology is out there if we will just take advantage of it.