Medicaid Can Save $186M with Telehealth Services

December 19, 2011

Earlier this week, the ATA (American Telemedicine Association), a Washington-based organization announced that Medicaid, a US health program for low-income families, can generate $186M in neonatal care savings using telemedicine.

With the help of Avelere Health, the ATA conducted a study on costs for pre-term babies, NICU admissions and unplanned visits of patients covered by Medicaid to physicians. The study proposed several legislative projects for lawmakers to consider.

The proposal suggests a “birthing network” structure similar to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’s (UAMS) program implemented 10 years ago. The Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System or ANGELS program used by UAMS includes weekly telemedicine conferences between the patient’s OB and medical specialists, ultrasound readings using home fetal monitors, training for local technicians on high-risk pregnancy management,  and a 24-hour call center service for physicians and patients, concerning pregnancy, delivery and post-partum.

The program will be targeted to prevent premature labor, once approved. The goal is to reduce the number of cases of preterm labor reported by 20 to 45 percent of Medicaid-assisted patients. Researchers explained that pre-term deliveries spend more time in the NICU requiring costly, unplanned visits to the physician, compared to mothers who have full or near-full term pregnancies.

Studies show that a decrease in pre-term labor can be achieved using telehealth technology through home fetal monitoring systems and telehealth consultations. Properly maintained fetal monitoring equipment is essential to this success. AIV provides replacement transducers for Corometrics and HP fetal monitors. For AIV’s full line of accessories and repair services, visit http://www.aiv-inc.com/fetal-monitor-transducers.html.

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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