Affordable Care Act Expected to Boost mHealth Patient Monitoring

Thousands of additional cardiac patients will be monitored via mHealth and remote monitoring tools before the close of the decade.

InMedica, a division of IMS Research, projects that at-home health monitoring will spike sixfold by 2017.

In 2012, clinicians reviewed long-distance vital signs on computer screens for some 227 000 patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and mental illness.

By 2017, a summary of the InMedica report from HeartWire reads, that number may balloon to exceed 1.8 million globally.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being cited as a major culprit of the anticipated growth.

“It’s all about moving toward preventive care and reducing avoidable hospital readmissions,” says report coauthor Shane Walker of InMedica.

With traditional fee-for-service reimbursement, physicians “lack an economic incentive” to take long-distance vital signs that do not involve a billable office visit, HeartWire reports. But “the financial incentive is on the way,” Walker counters, referencing “shared-saving arrangements for ACOs, bundled payments, and other payment reforms that reward quality of care.”

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