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Telestroke cost effective for hospitals
Date:12/4/2012

ies, more stroke patients discharged home independently, and despite upfront and maintenance expenses, a greater total cost savings for the entire network of hospitals.

Using data from Mayo Clinic and the Georgia Health Sciences University telestroke networks, the research model estimated that every year, compared to no telemedicine network, 45 more patients would be treated with intravenous thrombolysis and 20 more with endovascular stroke therapies leading to 6.11 more independent patients discharged home. This represents more than $100,000 in cost savings for each of the participating rural hospitals each year, according to the study.

"If the costs associated with the technology are reduced or if reimbursement opportunities increase we will recognize that this treatment method may, in fact, save even more money," Dr. Demaerschalk says. "The upfront costs associated with setting up the telestroke technology and managing the network organization are quickly offset by the financial gains that result from a higher proportion of patients receiving clot busting drugs and the reduced stroke-related disability and subsequent reduced need for rehabilitation, nursing home care and assistance at home."

The results of this economic research have implications on the assignment of financial responsibility between hub and spoke hospital partners. For instance, in a network that is principally designed to aid spoke hospitals' capacity to effectively assess, treat, and admit more patients with stroke, it is the spoke hospitals which benefit economically - and it then makes sense that the spoke hospitals should contribute to financing the telestroke network system.


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Contact: Jim McVeigh
mcveigh.jim@mayo.edu
480-301-4222
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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