For Medicare patients, connected care is the way forward. Experts have long agreed that real-time, electronic communication between a patient and a provider is the best way to improve care, and COVID-19 only reinforced that idea.
From chronic disease alerts to remote patient monitoring [link to RPM blog when live], here are 3 key things Medicare patients need to know now.
1. Connected care is ideal for treating chronic diseases
Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. That puts many Medicare patients at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 when seeking in-person care.
The good news: when it comes to Medicare patients, there are several conditions that show huge improvements in outcome when treated using connected care. Those include:
Congestive heart failure (CHF)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
For example, among congestive heart failure patients, connected care may reduce mortality up to 56% when compared with traditional care. For stroke patients, connected care may reduce mortality up to 25% during the first year after the event. COPD, diabetes, obesity — connected care has been shown to have positive effects for all of these conditions.
As a Medicare patient, your provider can suggest which remote patient monitoring devices would be best for your condition. Common options include blood pressure cuff, digital weight scale, blood glucose monitor or emergency watch.
2. Alerts are key to connected care
One critical aspect of connected care for Medicare patients is health alerts. Patients can use RPM devices at home or on-the-go to share health information such as blood pressure, weight, temperature or blood oxygen level with their healthcare provider. Limits are set for that data, and it’s continuously monitored.
Whenever patient data is out of the normal range:
A connected care system will send an alert to the provider
Who can then check the patient data history, and
Provide care directly to the patient.
Not only does that help Medicare patients avoid costly ER visits, but it also helps them get the care they need as soon as possible, which reduces the risk of hospitalization, complications or added costs.
3. Connected care can make patients happier
Once patients make the switch to connected care, most find it quick, convenient and satisfying. Because it allows for regular follow-up, Medicare patients can give providers a more complete picture of their well-being and current thoughts, feelings or symptoms. That can be especially helpful when treating conditions such as hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, anxiety, depression, GERD, headaches, asthma or pain.
The bottom line: COVID-19 & connected care
Senior patients have higher mortality rates for COVID-19 and a greater number of comorbid chronic conditions. That means seeking in-person care is challenging and heightens the risk of infection. Solutions like CopilotIQ can help providers offer connected care to Medicare patients within days.
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