Friday, April 4, 2014

Humana’s latest digital health pilot will test remote patient monitoring for Type 2 diabetes

Over the last nine months, Humana (NYSE:HUM) has undertaken a series of pilot projects aimed at testing the potential of remote patient monitoring in reducing hospital readmissions, improving health outcomes and cut costs.
Its latest program, called Activities in Daily Living, will utilize an engagement platform from Pharos Innovations to help its Medicare Advantage members better manage their Type 2 diabetes at home.
Humana said that select members in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas who have diabetes and take insulin or another diabetes medication will use Pharos’ Tel-Assurance platform to self-report health information like blood sugar levels, symptoms, diet and medication adherence daily. They can use a cellphone, telephone or internet to report the information, which will be reviewed by Tel-Assurance nurses. The nurses who will reach out to the member if any of the data indicates complications or cause for concern.
“We’re expecting to reduce unnecessary inpatient admissions and to improve self-care management,” a Humana rep said in an email.

This is the fourth remote monitoring pilot Humana has launched recently. It partnered with home health monitoring Valued Relationships Inc. and Healthsense on two separate pilots aimed at using sensors and medical alert systems to reduce serious long-term effects of falls and emergencies, and cut unnecessary emergency room visits. The insurer is also working with AMC Health on a pilot program using remote monitoring to improve congestive heart failure outcomes.As health insurers adapt to consumer-driven health and accountable care models, they’re making moves to do a better job of proactively engaging members in their health.
The diabetes pilot will run for six months and include 500 members.

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