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Telemedicine can reduce hospitalizations for nursing home residents
Date:2/4/2014

mbursement system, the researchers suspect that the broad adoption of the telemedicine service will be limited even in the context of the positive study findings because the facility pays for the telemedicine service while Medicare enjoys the savings realized through telemedicine. An additional financial disincentive for nursing homes to invest in telemedicine to prevent hospitalizations is present for Medicaid residents. Once a Medicaid resident is hospitalized and returns to the nursing home, the facility often receives the higher Medicare skilled nursing facility benefit.

Policy makers have recently implemented several payment reforms to prevent avoidable hospitalizations. Certain demonstration projects in the Affordable Care Act coordinate payment and delivery across settings. Models, such as accountable care organizations, managed care, and integrated care for dually eligible beneficiaries on Medicare and Medicaid, can provide incentives for nursing homes to implement telemedicine services to help prevent hospitalizations of nursing home residents.

"Until adoption of these innovative payment and financing models increases, we do not believe that the business case for telemedicine services in nursing homes is a strong one, especially in those nursing homes caring predominantly for Medicaid residents," said Grabowski and O'Malley.

Additional research will be needed to test models that encourage stronger engagement on the part of providers, as well as examine the implications of new policies that incentivize increased adoption, they said.


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Contact: Annmarie Christensen
annmarie.Christensen@Dartmouth.edu
603-653-0897
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Source:Eurekalert

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