Leveraging technology to support an Accountable Care Organization initiative
It is of particular interest to me to see how technology can be leveraged to help care providers meet legislation requirements and improve care delivery and outcomes at the same time! One of our most recent examples of how this alignment occurred was through collaboration with Saint Thomas Health as part of the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot. We have been working on this project since 2010 to bring our Cisco HealthPresence Solution to underserved communities in Tennessee.
Cisco HealthPresence is one of the solutions designed to facilitate better and more regular care.
The objective is to help extend the reach of healthcare delivery, simplify healthcare communications, and connect patients with medical providers and specialists to enable examinations in a convenient and efficient manner.
Cisco HealthPresence provides a communication and collaboration platform that is designed to help a remote physician evaluate patients based on diagnostic data derived from a variety of medical devices such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter and other diagnostic equipment. Each unit is staffed by an attendant trained to operate the medical devices under the instructions of the remote healthcare professional, who may be hundreds of miles away.
Our work with Saint Thomas Health achieves this as it allows patients in areas where medical resources are scarce to receive treatment, whether it is an examination conducted via HealthPresence, or just the chance to interact with physicians. Cisco has been working with Ascension Health for several years to make care more accessible for patients across the U.S. And, by working with Saint Thomas Health on the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot, Cisco continues to expand its relationships with healthcare providers in the U.S. and around the globe.
Together, we developed a holistic approach to the local delivery of health care services in response to the growing demand of patients, employers and the federal government for a more integrated system that offers high quality, efficiency and accountability. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for Medicare pilot programs to test the concept of Patient Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations in the coming years. Through MissionPoint Health Partners and its partners – which include insurers, brokers and employers – patients will form an ongoing relationship with their physician’s office, whose job it is to keep that patient well, through typical visits, as well as preventive services and education. What is interesting about this collaboration with Saint Thomas is that the technology and services are creatively addressing these demands for accountability.
Payment for MissionPoint services will be based on “outcomes” — whether the patient becomes and remains healthy — instead of the number of doctor’s visits, hospital stays or procedures a patient undergoes. And Cisco HealthPresence technology will be used to provide the patients access to specialist services intended to improve the patient experience. One of the most tangible, positive aspects of bringing HealthPresence technology to this model is that patients and doctors have more ways to communicate and connect. Care is more accessible and affordable and patients and providers have improved experiences. We would love to hear your thoughts as to how providing care at a distance or other technologies can support the requirements for an Accountable Care Organization.