Health ICT’s approach to accomplishing its mission of preventing and combating diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke is a multifaceted one. One of those facets focuses on the clinical care side and has involved using a mix of technology and collaboration to target diabetes and other metabolic conditions.
Dr. Justin Moore, medical consultant for the grant-funded Health ICT, said efforts involving data mining and app-based monitoring of diabetes are in synch with the national shift from volume-based fee for service to an outcomes-based model that rewards prevention and chronic disease management. Health ICT is interesting in doing even more along those lines, and would be glad to hear from doctors and practices with ideas.
So far, Health ICT has helped bring the software app Twine to Dr. Steve Davis’ practice at Wichita Family Medicine Specialists, where the messaging program was used to track blood sugar and other vitals and put the information into a digestible format. Health ICT’s work in that case involved arranging for medical students in Dr. Bob Badgett’s Population Health in Practice class to study work flows and help with implementation.
The technology “allows, probably a nurse or health coach, and in some cases the doctor, to make changes to the patient’s therapy without actually seeing the patient in the office,” Dr. Moore said. “Our goal isn’t to go into offices and ask doctors to do more for less money. Our goal is to make this at the very least a break-even proposition for providing slightly better care or, if it really goes well, improves the care and makes some money.”
“As long as you can capture 20 minutes per month of interaction with the patient outside of your office, and as long as that care applies to a couple of chronic conditions, then the provider is eligible for chronic care management reimbursement. It isn’t a huge amount of money, $40-$45 a month depending on the region, but if you have substantial chronically ill Medicare population it can really add up,” Dr. Moore said.
It is also a good use of time for doctor and patient. “I have long felt kind of guilty about the hoops we make patients jump through in order to receive care that ought to be almost automatic or routine, like having them miss half a day of work for a 15-minute office visit,” said Dr. Moore, an endocrinologist. “For a lot of these, it’s mostly about asking a couple of questions and checking the numbers.”Read More