Banner Health reduces patient admissions by 50% through telehealth initiatives, study finds

Phoenix-based Banner Health, through a collaboration with healthcare IT firm Royal Philips, utilized telehealth initiatives to reduce patient healthcare costs and hospitalization rates by roughly 50 percent in one year, an in-house study found.

The Intensive Ambulatory Care pilot program, developed in conjunction with Royal Philips, treats patients with complex medical conditions through telemedicine solutions. To study the IAC's effects on patient care, researchers examined 128 patients who had at least one year of pre-IAC follow up and one year of post-IAC follow up.

Clinicians found the program reduced overcall costs of care for patients participating in the program by 34.5 percent, the number of hospitalizations by 49.5 percent, the number of days patients spent in the hospital by 50 percent and patients' 30-day readmission rate by 75 percent.

The two organizations also signed a 15-year agreement to expand their existing partnership and develop and evaluate innovative services and business models to improve the quality of care for patients.

"We have always taken a long term view of our business and realized very early on that the current healthcare system was not sustainable," said Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health. "With legislation driving reform, we knew that we needed to manage population health and essentially keep people healthy and out of the system to reduce costs, while ensuring better patient outcomes. If we are to make a difference in patient's lives, we need to work collaboratively with innovative technology partners such as Philips."

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