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RPM cuts hospital readmissions by 50% for heart patients, study finds


Reduced readmissions extend out over a year for patients with remote monitoring.

medicine heart health illustration: © KatyFlaty - stock.adobe.com

© KatyFlaty - stock.adobe.com

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) led to a 50% reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions for patients with heart conditions, according to a study by an Arizona cardiology practice.

Cardiac Solutions, a practice with 24 cardiologists operating around Phoenix, Arizona, and RPM firm MD Revolution announced the results of the 12-month study involving 26,689 patients. Among them, 1,037 enrolled in the “RevUp” remote care management program before their first readmission, or within 30 days of their first readmission, while 25,664 patients were not enrolled at the time of readmission.

Within 30 days, 74 patients using RPM, or 7%, had a hospital readmission, compared with 3,840, or 15%, of the patients not using the remote monitoring.

“The significant reductions in hospitalizations at 30 days and extending to one year are a powerful statement to the effectiveness of Medicare’s chronic care and remote patient monitoring programs,” MD Revolution co-founder Samir Damani, MD, said in a news release. “The clinical impact is remarkable given that only 10 people have to be enrolled in the program to prevent a single hospital readmission. This is almost an order of magnitude greater in clinical impact than what is seen from common therapies such as statins used in millions of people in the prevention of coronary heart disease. Accordingly, anyone who qualifies should be enrolled in a chronic care management program.”

In a May 2022 study, researchers found heart attacks generated a 16.11% readmission rate for patients, while heart failure had a 21.96% readmission rate. Overall, more than $52.4 billion a year is spent to care for patients readmitted to hospitals within 30 days for previously treated conditions.

Cardiac readmission costs an average of $15,000 per patient, according to another study. Cardiac Solutions noted readmitted patients are more likely to have another heart attack, and readmissions are disruptive for patients and their families, while putting patients at greater risk of complications and infections.

Cardiac Solutions began using the RPM system for Medicare patients in late 2021. Patients using RPM had lower readmission rates compared with those not using it, across longer time periods:

  • 60 days: 108 (10%) using RPM vs. 5,266 (21%)
  • 90 days: 126 (12%) using RPM vs. 6,025 (23%)
  • 120 days: 142 (14%) using RPM vs. 6,427 (25%)
  • 180 days: 161 (16%) using RPM vs. 6,976 (27%)
  • 365 days: 201 (19%) using RPM vs. 7,757 (30%)

Using chronic care management programs can cut costs and improve patient outcomes, according to Cardiac Solutions and MD Revolution. Their study estimated patients who are discharged without adequate education about their condition and a treatment plan are 70% more likely to return to a hospital for treatment.

“Our goal was to reach patients with chronic conditions and provide them with quality care in between their already scheduled in-office visits with cardiologists,” Cardiac Solutions Operations Director Christine Onstott said in the news release. “Keeping a patient out of the hospital is good for the patient, insurance providers, and hospitals."

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