Telemedicine provider TripleCare has been selected to participate in a study conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine utilization in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

The 1-year study is being conducted to assess the benefits of telemedicine-based virtual physician services, which are used to prevent both avoidable nursing-home-to-hospital admissions and readmissions, and to estimate the economic impact on Medicare, Medicaid, and the participating SNFs.

The TRECS Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving care for seniors while decreasing healthcare costs, is leading and managing the study, while TripleCare is providing the virtual physician services, according to a media release from TripleCare.

In the study, made possible through CMS and Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration under the agency’s Civil Money Penalty Grants Program, TripleCare and TRECS are bringing virtual physician services to three Florida-based SNFs: Braden River Rehabilitation Center, Bradenton; Tiffany Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Port St. Lucie; and Moultrie Creek Nursing and Rehab, St. Augustine.

“We are confident that by the end of this year-long study, results will bear out the many benefits our telemedicine approach affords patients, SNFs and CMS,” says Mary Jo Gorman, chief executive officer at New York, NY-based TripleCare, in the release.

“The healthcare industry is working aggressively to prevent hospitalizations, and for years, TripleCare has successfully directly addressed this through its model. We are currently contracted with more than 60 SNFs nationwide, which is a true testament to the ways we enhance patient care while concurrently helping them control costs,” she adds.

John Whitman, executive director at the Chalfont, Pa-based The TRECS Institute (Targeting Revolutionary Elder Care Solutions), suggests in the release that in the future, every nursing facility in America will be utilizing virtual physician services.

“Studies show that approximately 60-70 percent of all nursing home transfers to the hospital are unnecessary. Sending a vulnerable senior to the hospital only increases their exposure to a wide range of other proven, adverse effects,” he explains. “TRECS and TripleCare have clearly demonstrated a better patient care model that not only reduces avoidable hospitalizations and improves clinical outcomes but also generates positive economic impact for both CMS and participating SNFs.”

[Source(s): TripleCare, Business Wire]