Telemonitoring at Visiting Nurse Health System
The Telemonitoring at Visiting Nurse Health System case presents one home healthcare organization's efforts to use telemonitoring to improve the quality of care provided to at-risk patients who were discharged from hospitals and needed home care. After two years of using the Health Buddy system for telemonitoring at-risk patients, Mark Oshnock, President of Visiting Nurse Health System (VNHS) must decide whether to invest in buying more Health Buddy units. While Oshnock believed that there were real benefits associated with telemonitoring, he was having difficulty quantifying those benefits and he was concerned about VNHS' ability to continue investing resources in telemonitoring given the realities of the health care reimbursement environment in which they operated. While several studies had demonstrated the benefits of telemonitoring, Oshnock felt that the long-term benefits accruing to the health system as a whole were not immediately quantifiable or visible to the hospitals and insurance companies. Without external support for the telemonitoring initiative from insurance companies, it would be difficult for VNHS to keep up the momentum and ramp up telemonitoring through additional purchases of Health Buddy units. From a purely financial standpoint, such an investment would be very difficult for VNHS to justify. The irony was that with the new regulatory pressures and increased focus on preventative healthcare, telemonitoring pointed to an effective tool in managing and reducing acute care hospitalizations. However, balancing these benefits against limited financial support from other key players in the health care system would be challenging.