Navigation Links
Telestroke networks can be cost-effective for hospitals, good for patients
Date:12/17/2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. Telestroke networks that enable the remote and rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke can improve the bottom line of patients and hospitals, researchers report.

A central hub hospital delivering rapid stroke diagnosis and treatment partnering with typically smaller spoke hospitals in need of those services means more patients recover better and the network and hospitals make money, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

"We measure stroke treatment in reduced disability and improved function and we have clear evidence that patients who get timely intervention do best," said Dr. Jeffrey A. Switzer, stroke specialist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

"If you are hospital administrator, you may like the idea conceptually but you have to be concerned about the risks of investing up front to do this. This is the first study to show that if it's set up correctly, a telestroke network will more than pay for itself."

Switzer is corresponding author on the study using five years of patient and hospital data from telestroke networks at GHSU and the Mayo Clinic. Researchers plugged the data into a model designed to compare effectiveness and hospital costs with and without a telestroke network. The telestroke model has one hub and seven spokes, the average network size in the United States.

They found that annually with a network:

  • 45 more patients would receive the clot buster tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved stroke drug

  • 20 more patients would receive endovascular therapy such as mechanically removing the clot from a blood vessel

  • Six more patients would be discharged to their home instead of a nursing home

  • The network made nearly $360,000, with each spoke hospital making more than $100,000

Major costs of telestroke networks include technology, technical support, transferring patients and paying physicians to take the extra call, said Switzer. "The question is whether it's in the interest of hospitals to develop networks that set up these telestroke relationships."

The study suggests it is. It supports a model emerging across the nation, where large, hub hospitals such as GHS Medical Center pay equipment and other costs smaller hospitals incur using their network. In the vast majority of cases, patients are seen via the network by stroke specialists in Augusta, eligible patients are given tPA at the spoke hospital then transported to GHS Health System for follow-up care. A new iteration in recent years has larger, urban hospitals also utilizing the guaranteed acute stroke care but keeping most patients at their hospital afterward. The larger hospitals pay for their own telestroke equipment but also receive larger reimbursement from public and private insurance for their service, benefiting hospitals and patients, Switzer said. "Patients receive quality care and can stay closer to home."

A major driver behind these types of stroke-care extenders is a lack of stroke specialists. Georgia, for example, is nestled in the stroke belt and has less than 20 fellowship-trained stroke specialists to treat a population of 10 million. Each year only 50-60 stroke specialists complete training at centers across the nation such as MCG and GHS Health System.

The long-distance approach appears to work well: MCG researchers showed in a 2003 study published in the journal Stroke that stroke patients in rural communities could be assessed and treated via the wireless Internet program just as well as they could be in person.

While tPA has been FDA-approved for 16 years, still fewer than 5 percent of patients receive it, often because they don't get a definitive stroke diagnosis within the three-hour time frame the drug should be given. Three separate clinical trials in the United States and Europe have shown it improves the likelihood of patients resuming normal or near-normal lives.

Dr. David Hess, stroke specialist and Chair of the MCG Department of Neurology, helped developed the Augusta system a dozen years ago, initially connecting with a small number of rural hospitals. Today, GHS Health System serves as the hub for 17 spokes. The biotech company, REACH Health, Inc., emerged about six years ago to help other hospitals and states develop similar networks.


'/>"/>

Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Telestroke cost effective for hospitals
2. The radical restructuring of brain networks in comatose patients
3. Math detects contamination in water distribution networks
4. Researchers show cost-effectiveness of HIV testing in drug abuse treatment programs
5. Yoga: A cost-effective treatment for back pain sufferers?
6. Landmark HIV treatment-as-prevention study shows additional health benefits, cost-effectiveness
7. Simple exercises are an easy and cost-effective treatment for persistent dizziness
8. Personalizing biologic treatment to individual patients with rheuatoid arthritis is cost-effective
9. HIV Prevention Pill Cost-Effective for High-Risk Men: Study
10. Infection data may not be comparable across hospitals, study shows
11. Heart Attack Survival Varies Widely Among Hospitals, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Telestroke networks can be cost-effective for hospitals, good for patients
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s ... setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those ... goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, ... ... lifestyle publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as ... believes that “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings 5th Annual ... Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. The event raised funds ... been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group is a 2016 Silver ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), ... Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected ... CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Global MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to ... The report contains up to date financial ... reliable analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on ... dive analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Bracket , a leading clinical trial ... clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the ... – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  ... Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, ... eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: