Aetna, Intel: Health Guide CHF pilot results

By Brian Dolan
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Intel Health GuideAt the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute conference this week, Aetna and Intel released preliminary findings from their Intel Health Guide pilot for chronic heart failure (CHF) patients. The pilots aim was to demonstrate how remote patient monitoring and nurse case management could improve the health of Medicare patients with CHF.

Dr. Randall Krakauer, Aetna’s national Medicare medical director, presented initial findings from the Aetna-Intel study at the Institute 2010 conference: Preliminary results revealed a number of successful early interventions and evidence of improved adherence from both clinicians and patients. (As Telecare Aware aptly put it, the summary results were "disappointingly generic.")

“Evidence shows that traditional nurse care management programs have improved outcomes and reduced avoidable hospital admissions among Medicare beneficiaries with CHF,” Krakauer stated in a release. “We are attempting to enhance that approach by providing technology to our Medicare members that helps them more easily monitor warning signs -- such as weight and blood pressure changes -- at home. Combined with frequent discussions with Aetna nurse case managers, we believe that members engaged in remote health management will be more successful managing their health.”

According to the companies, after the Intel Health Guide system was installed for the intervention group of 164 individuals, all 315 participants were monitored for six months. Participants in the intervention group recorded their weight and blood pressure daily, or as instructed. Some were also asked to input information into the Intel Health Guide about medication adherence, exercise, as well as recent emergency room visits and hospital stays, according to the companies.

During the study, "the Intel Health Guide provided immediate feedback to the member about that day’s measurements or responses to health assessment questions, and based on the responses, the member could be offered short educational videos through the Intel Health Guide on such topics as the importance of taking medication. This data was also transmitted to the Aetna nurse case manager to help coordinate care with the member and their physician," according to the companies' press release.

“While we are still in the process of reviewing the study results, we already know that there were several instances where the Intel Health Guide facilitated successful intervention,” Krakauer said. “This includes timely attention to elevated blood pressure or weight readings, surfacing and addressing previous prescription drug errors, as well as facilitating timely engagement between the member and their physician or nurse case manager.”

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