Philips, Banner Health announce 15-year partnership, updated data from telehealth pilot

By Heather Mack
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Expanding on the success of connected healthcare pilot programs originally launched in 2013, Arizona-based health system Banner Health and Royal Philips announced a 15-year partnership to go forward with their collaborative efforts to leverage telehealth and other integrated solutions in healthcare.  

The two organizations also released updated results from their Intensive Ambulatory Care (IAC) program, which was rolled out to treat patients with multiple chronic conditions, focusing on the top 5 percent of patients who account for 50 percent of healthcare expenditures. Using Philip’s IAC Program, which is a suite of integrated enterprise telehealth offerings, Banner equipped patients with connected blood pressure cuffs and scales, plus Samsung Galaxy tablets to participate in video consultations with caregivers. 

Looking at data from 128 patients from their IAC program, Banner saw a 34.5 percent reduction in overall care costs, primarily driven by costs associated with hospitalization: the IAC program reduced hospitalizations by nearly half, and also cut the number of days spent in the hospital in half. The 30-day readmission rate dropped by 75 percent.

“This updated data of our telehealth program shows that we were able to achieve even more significant cost savings and reduced hospitalization rates by continuing to leverage Philips’ powerful telehealth solution,” Banner Health’s Vice President of Patient Care Innovation, Deb Dahl, said in a statement. “We have been able to make significant improvements with our most complex patients over long periods of time, and the results can potentially be applied to better manage the health of other patient populations.”

The new cost analysis builds on the 2015 results of the pilot study. Last year, Philips and Banner announced the pilot had resulted in a 45 percent reduction in hospitalizations, a 32 percent reduction in acute and long term care costs, and a 27 percent reduction in cost of care overall.

With the expanded partnership, Banner and Philips will leverage Philips’ research in connected care and population health management and Banner’s clinical and operational capabilities to develop integrated solutions for Banner’s patient population.  Banner will also have access to many Philips offerings, such as their radiology practice management toolset, and the two companies will look for ways to take a more connected approach on certain areas, like cardiology, by incorporating advanced imaging, genomics, digital pathology and data analytics.

“We have always taken a long-term view of our business, and realized very early on that the current healthcare system was not sustainable,” Peter Fine, President and CEO of Banner Health, said in a statement. “With legislation driving reform, we knew that we needed to manage population health and essentially keep people healthy people 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.”Helga Lovekaty