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New Findings Link Telehealth-Enabled Care Coordination with Reduced Mortality for Patients with Congestive Heart Failure

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Bosch Healthcare, Inc., the market leader in evidence-based telehealth solutions, and a subsidiary of the Bosch Group, today announced new evidence that an integrated telehealth and care management program (the Health Buddy Program) can significantly reduce all-cause mortality in high-cost, high-risk Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure (HF).

In 2010, costs associated with HF were estimated to be $34.4 billion annually (direct and indirect costs).[i]  In 2006, Medicare beneficiaries with HF accounted for 37 percent of all Medicare spending and 50 percent of all inpatient hospital costs.[ii]  Developing strategies to reduce readmission rates and improve outcomes for patients with HF has become a national health priority.

Retrospective Medicare claims data for HF beneficiaries enrolled in the 2006-2010 Medicare Care Management for High-Cost Beneficiaries (CMHCB) Demonstration in the Pacific Northwest (intervention group) were compared to control HF Medicare beneficiaries. HF was identified by ICD-9 codes and intervention and control beneficiaries were propensity-score matched using logistic regression. The program's effect on all-cause mortality over three years was estimated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards models. Data for 623 matched pairs of Medicare HF beneficiaries were analyzed.

The results showed that care management combined with the Health Buddy System was associated with a 25 percent reduction in all-cause mortality risk in beneficiaries with HF, who were offered the program and a 57 percent reduction in mortality risk for those HF beneficiaries who actively participated in the program.

Lead author of the study, Robert L. Page II, PharmD, MSPH, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, stated: "Over the past five years, integrated telemedicine programs have become an emerging tool to assist providers in the complex management of patients with heart failure. What sets the Health Buddy Program apart from other devices is that this program engages the patient in all aspects of their care-signs, symptoms, health behaviors, and knowledge of these health behaviors. Our study found a significant reduction in mortality in patients with heart failure with the greatest benefit in those who actually engaged in the program. I believe that the key is motivating the patient to become engaged in their care."

According to Dr. Jasper zu Putlitz, M.D. and president of Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc.: "These data have once again demonstrated that the Health Buddy System can activate collaboration and inspire engagement among patients and their care team in ways that lead to better clinical outcomes. In this case, it has shown that for heart failure patients, use of the Health Buddy System can extend their lives."

The abstract of the study can be accessed at:  

Background on Medicare's CMHCB Demonstration Project
The Medicare CMHCB demonstration was conducted at Wenatchee Valley Medical Center in Wenatchee, Washington and Bend Memorial Clinic in Bend, Oregon, from 2006 through January 2012. The care management teams at both clinics used Bosch Healthcare's content-based remote patient monitoring (the Health Buddy System) to improve the communication with patients, monitor their vital-sign data and increase patients' knowledge about their chronic illness(es). Previous analyses of the data showed lower healthcare resource utilization and costs among other positive outcomes.[iii] 

About the Health Buddy System
Used by more than 150,000 patients since 2001, the Health Buddy System allows patients to take a more active role in monitoring their health and symptoms while at home. Each day, the Health Buddy System provides patients with a series of personalized questions, education and useful tips to help take better care of their health. Data generated by the Health Buddy System is sent via a telephone line, wireless modem or Ethernet connection to a secure data center and quickly analyzed, giving healthcare providers the opportunity to intervene before the patient's condition becomes critical.

About Robert Bosch Healthcare
Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc., is a leading provider of innovative telehealth systems. Bosch's product spectrum ranges from patient interfaces to comprehensive health management and patient evaluation software allowing healthcare professionals to efficiently evaluate the patient's health status. Bosch Healthcare strives to help improve diagnosis and treatment through systematic patient monitoring and involvement. The result is that health professionals are able to provide a higher quality of care for patients with chronic conditions, patients lead happier and healthier lives, and the cost of healthcare is reduced for payers. Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc. is a fully owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. For more information, go to

About the Bosch Group
In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy, healthcare telemedicine and software solutions. Having established a regional presence in 1906, Bosch employs over 23,000 associates in more than 100 locations, with sales of $9.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. For more information, visit 

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of 51.5 billion euros in fiscal 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some 4.2 billion euros for research and development in 2011, and applied for over 4,100 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. Further information is available online at and

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering." The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

[i] Heidenreich PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, Butler J, Dracup K, Ezekowitz MD, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123(8):933–944.
[ii] Page RL, Strongin KB, Mills RM, Hogan C, Lindenfeld J. The Magnitude of Health Care Resource Utilization by Medicare Beneficiaries with Heart Failure. Circulation. 2007;116:II_600.
[iii] Baker LC, Johnson SJ, Macaulay D, Birnbaum H. Integrated Telehealth and Care Management Program for Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Disease Linked to Savings." Health Affairs. 2011; 30(9):1689-97.

SOURCE Robert Bosch Healthcare, Inc.
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