Chronic Disease Crisis Increases ER Visits and Healthcare Costs

Between Congressional efforts to overhaul the healthcare system and President Trump’s recent decision to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s opioid epidemic, the healthcare system has found itself squarely in the spotlight for much of 2017. But very quietly, another medical epidemic is putting a significant strain on both patients and the medical community: chronic disease.

Chronic Disease Rates Continue to Rise

As of 2012, the CDC reports that one in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. When managed and treated appropriately, many individuals can enjoy a tremendous quality of life. But unless patients have access to remote patient monitoring technology at home, it can become difficult to ensure that ailments are being treated appropriately.

In many cases, they are not. There are over 130 million trips to the emergency room every year in the United States. Yet only about 10 percent actually result in hospitalizations. Many visits in fact result from chronic conditions that have not been managed appropriately, or could otherwise have been treated with a home health program. Unfortunately, the increasing frequency of these instances places significant strain on the premium-paying patients being hospitalized as well as the healthcare workers and organizations that must modify their operations to meet this evolving situation.

Reducing Healthcare Costs through Better Chronic Disease Management

Every year, chronic disease impacts over 130 million Americans and costs the U.S. economy more than $2.5 trillion. Clearly, healthcare organizations must act to facilitate change that can not only improve patient outcomes, but help reclaim control over the costs affiliated with medical care.

Given this need, it should come as no surprise that the telehealth market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5 percent through 2021. The introduction of remote healthcare services helps bridge the divide between patient and doctor so that management and monitoring can occur in real-time to respond appropriately to a patient’s needs without requiring them to make an unnecessary and costly trip to the ER.

Adopting Remote Patient Monitoring to Meet the Increasing Demand

Over the coming years, this will be especially vital, as the Baby Boomer generation—the demographic with the highest rate of chronic disease—reaches retirement age, creating a disproportionate need for remote patient monitoring.

It is clear that remote healthcare solutions will be an integral part in shoring up the nation’s chronic disease crisis. But before your organization adopts remote healthcare solutions to meet this emerging challenge, it is critical to find a partner to provide the supplemental back-end support that will sustain your organization’s future success. To learn more, click here.