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Mobile Offers Engagement, Quality and Revenue-Generation Opportunities

· Kim Tucker,

Smart mobile solutions help clinicians deliver safer, higher quality care more efficiently in the hospital. But what about when the patient returns home? 

Survey results released early this year show that 86 percent of clinicians believe that mobile apps that patients use at home will become important for managing patients’ health over the next five years. This technology, however, is already proving effective in helping manage patients’ health, while also offering provider organizations opportunities to increase efficiency and revenue.

For example, as many as 30 percent of patients pay nothing out-of-pocket when they visit a physician, which translates to thousands or hundreds of thousands of uncollected copay revenue, depending on patient volume. Instead, patients could easily make their copay, or settle any payment responsibility, through an app on their smart device that also helps them communicate with their providers and manage their health.

Mobile technology can also drive patient engagement, which is another key care quality and revenue generation opportunity. Patients who receive information, support, and reminders through their mobile device have been shown to be more engaged than patients who did not utilize mobile. Technology alone, however, is not enough. A personal care manager to help coordinate care, arrange follow-up appointments, and coach the patient through the care plans with personal phone calls and in-app messages drives deeper, longer-term engagement.

These engaged patients tend to adhere to their providers’ care plans better than non-engaged patients, which can help the provider organization improve care quality metrics and reduce frequent readmission, both of which can increase revenue under value-based payment models. From an efficiency perspective, patients’ activities and communications captured from their mobile app and can be integrated with the organization’s other health information systems to reduce providers’ time searching for information while delivering clinical context to data points and supporting better evidence-based decision making.

In the near future, more post-discharge, checkup and preventive care visits will be conducted through telehealth encounters on the patient’s mobile device. Early results from several Veterans Affairs’ telehealth programs and pilots are encouraging.

While mobile-enabled telehealth ramps up, numerous opportunities already exist for healthcare organizations to drive patient engagement, quality and revenue generation through mobile technology. Bridging the gap between the hospital to home through mobile has never been easier or more beneficial.

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