Remote patient monitoring US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

  • As a large integrated healthcare system, the VA offers services to a population of 23 million eligible Veterans, with around 8.3m currently enrolled.
  • Telehealth’s VA budget from FY 2014 increased from $986 million to just below $1.1 billion in FY 2015. In FY 2016, the VA is allocating $1.22 billion of a $56 billion budget.
  • VA Telehealth Services served over 690,000 veterans in FY2014. That total represents 12% of the overall Veteran population enrolled for VA healthcare, and accounted for more than 2 million telehealth visits. 55% were Veterans living in rural areas with limited access to VA healthcare.
  • In 2016, VA expects to deliver telehealth based services to 1.1 million Veterans.

Model

  • Examples of telehealth include: home monitors, Tele-Intensive Care, videoconferencing, TeleAudiology, TelePathology, Teleradiology and TeleMental Health.
  • Telehealth is delivered from the VA's network of 151 medical centers and 705 community-based outpatient clinics
  • The average cost per patient of the VA home telehealth program was annualised at $1,600 per year, versus the $13,000 cost for direct home care, or the $77,000 per year cost for nursing home care 

Clinical outcomes

  • Telehealth increases access to care by increasing the ways Veterans can receive medical advice, reducing the time and cost to travel to receive care, and increasing the probability someone in a remote location can receive care.
  • Home telehealth services reduced bed days of care by 59% and hospital admissions by 35% in 2013
  • Clinical video telehealth services reduced bed days of care for mental health by 38% 

Economic outcomes

  • Home telehealth reduced healthcare costs by roughly $2,000 per person per year in FY204, while clinical video telehealth saved roughly $34.45 per consult and store-and-forward telehealth saved roughly $38.81 per consult in travel costs.
  • Annual health care expenses between 2009 and 2012 for veterans treated via telehealth decreased by 4% one year after beginning the use of such services

Related case studies

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