Findings of a study reported this month in The American Journal of Managed Care® show that using telemedicine at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) can reduce hospitalizations and produce savings for Medicare. This case study explores the impact of having a physician available on demand for assessment and treatment of changes in medical conditions. When doctors could be reached via telemedicine, 29 percent of the patients evaluated avoided a hospital visit, saving $1.55 million over the course of a year, according to the study results.
Telemedicine technology gives nurses direct access to physicians who can see and examine the patient within minutes to initiate treatment. The study reinforces the benefits of telemedicine technology inside SNFs, including:
Creating significant healthcare cost savings
Improving nurse assessment skills
Providing comfort and confidence for patients and their families
Integration within the clinical team (primary attending physician)
The study was led by Dr. David Chess, founder, president and chief medical officer of Tapestry Telehealth, a multi-specialty physician practice dedicated to providing quality health-care services to residents of nursing facilities located in rural communities across America.