Cigna-HealthSpring is expanding its population health program that utilizes tablets, the Intel-GE Care Innovations Guide, and virtual connection to nurse practitioners to engage with patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) and successfully manage their condition at home. Based on a successful pilot in Middle Tennessee that involved 50 patients, the remote patient management program is now being implemented with 250 patients across the U.S. with potential for further expansion.
“The success of the pilot program shows what an invaluable opportunity we have to truly make a positive impact in our customers’ lives,” said Dr. Jim Lancaster, senior medical director for Cigna-HealthSpring of Tennessee. “Many people with congestive heart failure find themselves back in the hospital within a matter of weeks after returning home so it’s important that we continue to seek new and innovative solutions to help them better manage their health.”
Participating Cigna-HealthSpring customers will be given a blood pressure cuff, scale and tablet for a minimum of 90 days so they can interact with their Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioner, track their daily biometrics and complete an educational program to better manage CHF at home.Under the expanded program, participating Cigna-HealthSpring customers will be given a blood pressure cuff, scale and tablet for a minimum of 90 days which will enable them to interact with their Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioner, track their daily biometrics and complete an educational program to help them manage their CHF at home. Once they achieve specific milestones, participants will transition away from the tablet to a less intensive program where they will continue to monitor and log their weight and blood pressure with the help of a case manager. At the end of the program, customers should be able to recognize symptoms of CHF exacerbation and understand the impact of diet, education and medication on their condition. To participate in the program, customers must have received a CHF diagnosis and a previous ER visit or hospital admission. There is no cost to the customer to participate in the program but using the tablet requires a landline or internet connectivity.
“By monitoring and engaging CHF patients as they go about their daily lives, we are able to catch problems early, involve the doctor immediately and ultimately avoid unnecessary ER visits, hospital stays and worsening of the patients’ health,” said Sean Slovenski, CEO of Intel-GE Care Innovations.
CHF is a chronic condition that affects 5.1 million people in the U.S. and costs Medicare $17.4 billion per year in avoidable hospital readmissions.