Mobile Integrated Health Care Decreases Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Admissions

Press Release:

Today, Evolution Health, a division of Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc., announced results from a groundbreaking study on Mobile Integrated Health care’s (MIH) impact on preventable utilization of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the Emergency Department (ED) and medical inpatient admissions. Based on data from an MIH care coordination program for approximately 60,000 managed Medicare members, this MIH program demonstrated a significant reduction in inpatient and ED utilization and costs.

MIH improves patient outcomes and lowers costs by engaging a comprehensive clinical care team through telehealth and telemedicine technology, by matching patient needs with appropriate resources. Evolution Health’s program was delivered by a mobile medical practice that provides MIH in homes and other alternative settings using physician-led, interprofessional care teams. These teams provide patient-centered, needs based, acute and chronic care, as well as prevention services, on a 24/7 basis.

The study focused on coordinating care for high-risk members including those with advanced illness and chronic disease, as well as those transitioning from one care setting to another, such as from the hospital to the patient’s home, or home to a skilled nursing facility. Results describe the preliminary experience and initial implementation of an MIH intervention for a statewide geriatric population that achieved:

  • 40 percent decrease in inpatient utilization
  • 37 percent decrease in inpatient PMPM cost
  • 21 percent decrease in ED utilization
  • 19 percent decrease in ED PMPM cost

Member satisfaction and activation measures also showed favorable preliminary trends.

“These findings validate our long-held belief that MIH is one of the most promising collaborative opportunities in health care today,” said study co-author Daniel J. Castillo, M.D., MBA, Chief Strategy and Quality Officer and Executive Vice President of Population Health System Effectiveness at Evolution Health. “MIH fast-tracks pursuit of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim, providing patients the care they need in appropriate settings, leading to more positive experiences and lower overall costs.”

This study is particularly significant given the health care industry’s focus on identifying new strategies for lowering costs while increasing patient health outcomes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) predicts Medicare enrollment will increase to 18.5 million members in 2017, a 60 percent jump from 2010. Research suggests that approximately $600 million could be saved annually if Medicare members with low-acuity needs were triaged by EMS and cared for in a setting that is aligned with their needs—such as an urgent care or office setting.

“MIH intentionally addresses a population’s unmet needs by pairing clinicians with technology, psychosocial tools and other resources to provide customized care in a cost-effective manner,” said Eric H. Beck, D.O. MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Delivery, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Evolution Health. “We’re encouraged and motivated by these early findings, and confident that future studies of the MIH model’s use likely will yield similar results. Through communication, collaboration and coordination, we can make significant strides toward improving the health of populations, one patient at a time.”

Results of the program are highlighted in the article, “Mobile Integrated Healthcare: Preliminary Experience and Impact Analysis with a Medicare Advantage Population,” newly published by the peer reviewed Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research. The article’s co-authors include Envision executives Drs. Castillo, Myers and Beck as well as Jonathan Mocko, senior director of actuarial services at Evolution Health.

Complete research findings and methodology can be found here.

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