By Bill Anderson
Readmissions are on everyone’s mind in the acute and post-acute care space, and people with chronic health conditions are 1.5 times more likely to be re-hospitalized within 30 days, 4 times more likely to have an emergency room visit, and cost 5.5 times more for annual care than those without complex or chronic health conditions. And the high costs of admissions—the financial costs—are where Senscio and our Ibis technology provide extraordinary value to primary and acute care providers.
Payers are targeting readmission rates that are too high, particularly among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Among the entire client population in 2011, all-cause readmissions were—according to AHRQ in 2011—13.8%. But among similar groups of Medicare beneficiaries, that rate was 17.2%. The costs of these Medicare readmissions were an astounding $41 billion.
In addition to the overall costs of readmissions to the system, penalties for readmissions now threaten the providers themselves. In 2014, the average penalty to the 2,610 hospitals cited for excessive readmission rates was 0.63%, which translated to $428 million in lost Medicare reimbursement for those hospitals and health systems.
At Senscio, our focus is on cost reduction in the healthcare system through encouraging good health behavior habits in our patients and providing industry-leading artificial intelligence to help population health experts identify patient “hot spots” and direct care and services smartly. Our Ibis CareStation prompts best adherence and care-management practices at the patient level and is a constant companion for patients managing multiple chronic health conditions and polymed situations. Our CarePortal allows nurses, doctors, and our own Senscio staff to monitor patient adherence, vitals, and activities of daily living, all in the spirit of preventing an unnecessary acute episode before one occurs. And our Scio™ artificial intelligence engine aggregates seemingly unrelated information about patients to develop insights that allow the Chief Medical Officer, health plan CEO, or population health and data lead in a hospital or health system to act systemically to reduce costs and improve the health of the population they serve.
It’s possible to contain health care costs with smart interventions. Patients with multiple chronic conditions—especially those in the Medicare/Medicaid cohort—are ripe for new technology interventions that allow them to live independently and better with their conditions. And Senscio, with our Ibis System, is there with them, helping them and their caregivers manage expensive chronic conditions better than ever before.