The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is launching the second phase of its three-year project to test whether telemedicine can be used to reduce hospitalizations of long-term residents in nursing homes.
The project — which is scheduled to run from October 2016 to October 2020 — seeks to prove that using technology can be as effective as an on-site clinic, and includes Medicare payments to clinicians “at a level similar to the payments they would receive for treating beneficiaries in a hospital,” as well as new payments for taking part in care planning activities.
The following organizations are involved in the project: UPMC Community Provider Services in Pennsylvania, the Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation, The Greater New York Hospital Foundation, Nebraska’s Alegent Health, the Curators of the University of Missouri, HealthInsight of Nevada and Indiana University.
During the first phase of the project CMS reported “promising initial results,” with five of the participants showing “some degree of reduction in hospitalization levels.”During the first phase of the project CMS reported “promising initial results,” with five of the participants (called “enhanced care and coordination providers” or ECCPs) showing “some degree of reduction in hospitalization levels.”
According to CMS, roughly 45 percent of hospital admissions involving Medicare or Medicaid enrollees in long-term nursing facilities could have been avoided, amounting to roughly $2.6 billion in Medicare expenditures in 2005.