Article   |   January 09, 2017   |   Lilly CM, Motzkus C, Rincon T, Cody SE, Landry K, Irwin RS
CHEST

New Study Validates Tele-ICU Financial Benefits

The financial value of employing a tele-ICU in managing critical care patients in hospital ICUs is validated again in an upcoming, peer-reviewed study to be published in the February edition of CHEST1. Building upon previous studies that documented the clinical value of a tele-ICU, the new study principally-authored by Craig Lilly, M.D. addresses the positive financial impact of tele-ICU. The study found that improved case flow and increased marginal revenue drove dramatic improvements in the financial contributions of the ICU for the hospital, achieving a 376% increase in contribution margin (profitability) when a tele-ICU was implemented. This study, individually and as part of a broader set of research findings, helps to corroborate that a tele-ICU solution offers a compelling blend of clinical and financial benefits to ICU patients and ICU units.  The study effectively encourages hospitals to pursue effective tele-ICU solutions by showing that the tele-ICU is net positive for the hospital.

This latest study, entitled “ICU Telemedicine Program Financial Outcomes”, evaluated 51,203 subjects over a ten-year timeframe in a multi-ICU academic hospital setting. Among a variety of findings, the study showed that by employing tele-ICU services, direct contribution margin per case nearly quadrupled and direct revenue per case increased over 21%. This easily offset a 6% rise in direct per-case costs associated with tele-ICU services. Further, case volume rose in the study almost 21% and average patient acuity (case severity) rose from 46 to 61 (APACHE IV), indicating that tele-ICU services enable a hospital to accommodate more patients and focus on more critical cases.  The study documented that the increased profitability of the tele-ICU enables the hospital to pay back the necessary tele-ICU capital and start-up expenses within 3 months of launch and to benefit financially on-going.

Lou Silverman, CEO of Advanced ICU Care, commented on the new study: “The study corroborates our consistent finding of positive clinical and financial ROI for tele-ICU care in our client hospitals. While we are properly focused on leveraging our tele-ICU expertise to enable enhanced clinical outcomes, we are pleased to welcome an additional study that confirms our data and the resulting view that utilization of tele-ICU services generates a positive return for client hospitals. This study, in essence, validates our internal findings over our eleven year history. Tele-ICU offers significant benefits to hospitals, both clinically and financially.”

CLICK HERE to access the full report of the study.

 

 

1              Lilly CM, Motzkus C, Rincon T, Cody SE, Landry K, Irwin RS, for the UMass Memorial Critical Care Operations Group, ICU Telemedicine Program Financial Outcomes, CHEST (2017), doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2016.11.029.

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