InformationWeek, September 14, 2011

Combining telehealth and care management tools significantly reduces the costs of treating Medicare patients with chronic diseases, even after factoring in program costs, according to a new study published in Health Affairs. While the study focused on the use of the Health Buddy, a decade-old technology that must be used at home, it has implications for the use of the newer mobile applications for telemonitoring. Equally important, it signals the lag between studies of telehealth and its application in the field, according to a noted expert. The researchers, who included Laurence C. Baker of Stanford University, analyzed data collected in the course of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Care Management for High-Cost Beneficiaries Demonstration. The Health Buddy program was one of six interventions that this demonstration investigated, focusing on patients with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or congestive heart failure.

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