SUMMIT, NEW JERSEY – Patients of TelePlus Healthcare’s congestive heart failure (CHF) treatment program are 20 percent less likely to require return hospital visits than patients enrolled in standard CHF treatment programs offered by competing New Jersey healthcare providers.The official results for the rollout of TelePlus Healthcare’s congestive heart failure treatment program at New Jersey Cardiology Associates showed there were zero patient readmissions within 30 days and the eight-month readmission rate was less than five percent.
By comparison, the average readmission rate for similar telehealth programs offered by New Jersey hospitals over the same time period was 21 percent.
Patients of New Jersey Cardiology Associates were provided with weight scales and blood pressure cuffs that were linked with tablets equipped with Teleplus’ CHF-management software. The patients’ data was collected in the mornings and afternoons through daily questions and vital readings that were integrated with their emergency medical records.
Based on that information, patients were placed into color-coded risk categories for priority in treatment. If patients fell into the red or yellow categories, they were contacted by their assigned nurses by telephone, or through secure telehealth video conferencing on their tablets.
Dr. Suzanne Shugg, CEO of TelePlus Healthcare, explained how her company’s telehealth program vastly improves upon the normal performance measures of most CHF services, where 26 percent of patients typically return to the hospital within 19 days of discharge, and where each hospitalization lasts an average of seven days and costs $30,000.
“We’re giving patients a lifeline, because one third of these patients typically die within a year of hospitalization,” said Shugg. “We rely on what we refer to as our Smart Healthcare Algorithms. They allow us to predict who is going to end up in the hospital with a 95 percent success rate.”
Jackie, a 62-year-old New Jersey resident and heart failure patient who was enrolled in the TelePlus CHF program, credited the program with keeping her out of the hospital.
“At first I thought the program was a pain, having to weigh myself and take my blood pressure every day, but then I woke up feeling sick, and lost four pounds in a day,” explained Jackie. “TelePlus’ CHF program picked up the problem right away, and my medications were adjusted. If I had not been in the CHF program, I would have been hospitalized for at least two days. I would much rather answer questions daily and stay healthy.”