NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In partnership with Intel-GE Care Innovations™, Cigna-HealthSpring® is expanding its population health program that utilizes interactive tablets – the Intel-GE Care Innovations™ Guide – and virtual connection to Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioners to partner and engage with patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) to successfully manage their condition at home. Based on a successful pilot in Middle Tennessee that engaged 50 patients, the innovative remote patient management program is now being implemented with 250 patients statewide with potential for further expansion.
“We are dedicated to helping our customers get more from life and the success of the pilot program shows what an invaluable opportunity we have to truly make a positive impact in our customers’ lives,” said Dr. Jim Lancaster, senior medical director for Cigna-HealthSpring of Tennessee. “Many people with congestive heart failure find themselves back in the hospital within a matter of weeks after returning home so it’s important that we continue to seek new and innovative solutions to help them better manage their health. We are pleased by the early success of the pilot program and excited to implement it statewide to help more of our customers take control of their health with the convenience of virtual yet personalized medicine at home.”
Under the expanded program, participating Cigna-HealthSpring customers will be given a blood pressure cuff, scale and interactive tablet for a minimum of 90 days which will enable them to interact virtually with their Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioner, track their daily biometrics and complete an educational program to help them manage their CHF at home. Once they achieve specific milestones, participants will transition away from the tablet to a less intensive program where they will continue to monitor and log their weight and blood pressure with the help of a case manager. At the end of the program, customers should be able to recognize symptoms of CHF exacerbation and understand the impact of diet, education and medication on their condition. To participate in the program, customers must have received a CHF diagnosis and a previous ER visit or hospital admission. There is no cost to the customer to participate in the program but using the tablet requires a landline or internet connectivity.
“We have seen dramatic reductions in the need for hospitalization in our first year of the program pilot with Cigna-HealthSpring. We also recently worked with many hospitals across the country to create successful remote care management programs and have seen as high as a 75 percent reduction in hospital readmissions,” said Sean Slovenski, CEO of Intel-GE Care Innovations. “We’ve learned that a successful program is as much about the logistical details as it is about the technology. Helping consumers engage proactively in their own health is our mission at Care Innovations. By monitoring and engaging CHF patients as they go about their daily lives, we are able to catch problems early, involve the doctor immediately and ultimately avoid unnecessary ER visits, hospital stays and worsening of the patients’ health.”
Cigna-HealthSpring customer success examples:
When Elizabeth*, 74, started the program her blood pressure was extremely high, she was overweight and she had struggled with hospital admissions due to CHF complications. Since starting the program, she has lost 25 pounds, consistently had her blood pressure and heart rate in a healthy range and avoided the hospital. She says the program has helped give her better awareness of her condition and made her realize the positive impact she can make from simple daily monitoring of her biometrics. Elizabeth’s improvement has also helped her husband, who acts as her caregiver, gain more comfort and assurance that she has personal and direct access to her Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioner.
Margery*, 72, had struggled with controlling her CHF and frequently found herself in the hospital. Cigna-HealthSpring worked together with her cardiologist to enroll her in the program and create a personalized care plan to better manage her CHF. She says she now knows what to do and the program has helped educate and empower her to take better care of her herself and control her CHF. The program has helped her improve her biometrics, avoid the hospital for CHF-related complications and allowed her nurse practitioner to intervene early to prevent CHF exacerbation or a trip to the hospital.
*Names changed for privacy.
CHF is a chronic condition that affects 5.1 million people in the U.S.1 and costs Medicare $17.4 billion per year in avoidable hospital readmissions.2 A companion piece to a recent study by Dartmouth University listed some of the reasons for hospital readmissions regardless of the condition, including patients not fully understanding their condition and being confused about medications.3
“What makes this program so special is that customers know they have easy and direct access to a Cigna-HealthSpring nurse practitioner, someone who truly cares about them and their health,” added Dr. Lancaster. “They feel empowered to learn how they can impact their own health.”
Cigna-HealthSpring, a Cigna company (NYSE:CI), is one of the country's leading health plans focused on delivering care to the senior population, predominately through Medicare Advantage and other Medicare and Medicaid products. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Cigna-HealthSpring offers a national stand-alone prescription drug plan and operates health plans in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.cignahealthspring.com.
About Intel-GE Care Innovations™
Intel-GE Care Innovations, a joint venture between Intel Corporation and GE Healthcare, connects the care continuum to the home and makes it easier for patients, family caregivers, and professional caregivers to interact and achieve better health at home.
Experts in technology and behavior change, Care Innovations identifies the best methods for health care providers and health plans to capture and integrate real-time data from the home into care delivery. The company’s third-generation remote care management solution, Connect RCM, delivers insights for timely intervention and superior patient engagement with patients outside the formal care setting. The Connect RCM application is built with a smart filter and predictive analytics platform that sorts the complex array of aggregated data captured from a wide array of sensors and sources present in the daily lives of consumers. Visit www.careinnovations.com to learn more.
1 Heart Failure Fact Sheet. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/docs/fs_heart_failure.pdf
2 CMS National Medicare Readmission Findings. Available at http://www.academyhealth.org/files/2012/sunday/brennan.pdf
3 Care About Your Care: Tips for Patients When They Leave the Hospital. Available at www.dartmouthatlas.org/downloads/reports/Atlas_CAYC_092811.pdf