Promising Results From More Than 1,350 Resident-Patients Using Telehealth Technology
MIDDLETOWN, CT / ACCESSWIRE / September 16, 2020 / MediTelecare, the nation's largest provider of telehealth-behavioral care to the long-term care market including skilled and assisted living centers, today announced the results of the "MediTelecare Yields Positive Outcomes for Skilled Nursing Facilities Through Telehealth" report. The results show that MediTelecare's evidence-based clinical protocols significantly reduced the overall rate of inappropriate and unnecessary psychotropic medication use for resident-patients with behavioral health conditions at skilled nursing facilities.
From a population of 4,500 resident-patients in more than 50 skilled nursing facilities, which represents a small portion of the total resident-patients MediTelecare works with, approximately 1,350 resident-patients were treated by MediTelecare behavioral telehealth clinicians. This included the use of MediTelecare's proprietary telehealth digital hub technology and a standard operating protocol that includes integrated non-drug talk therapy through clinical psychologists together with active medication management with psychiatrists and psych-trained nurse practitioners. While many resident-patients at skilled nursing facilities felt extreme isolation during COVID-19, MediTelecare's protocol of telehealth sessions allowed behavioral clinicians to continuously provide care throughout the pandemic to safely and effectively manage behavioral health conditions.
This interdisciplinary team-based approach produced extremely positive results for the resident-patient population in this cohort, including:
MediTelecare-serviced facilities averaged 50 percent less use and overuse of antipsychotic medications than the national average, averaging 7 percent versus a national average in skilled nursing centers of approximately 14 percent. The overuse of antipsychotics in elderly populations in skilled nursing facilities has long been an area of focus and concern by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and skilled nursing facility operators. Reducing the use of these medications can significantly decrease serious health risks for elderly patients, including mortality and serious cerebrovascular events.
MediTelecare clinical treatment protocols drove a 15 percent diminished use of anti-anxiety and hypnotic drugs and a 17 percent reduction of the use of overall psychotropic medications. The use of anti-anxiety and hypnotic medications are associated with greater healthcare costs, adverse drug effects, increased fall risks and re-hospitalizations in elderly populations. MediTelecare's focus on non-pharmacologic interventions and safer medications can help reduce negative health outcomes for patients, improving the quality of life and lowering overall healthcare costs for this population.
"The coronavirus pandemic has been widely reported to present significant hurdles for effective access to behavioral and overall healthcare in long-term care facilities," said Dr. Jessica Badichek, PharmD, BCGP, Chief Informatics & Compliance Officer, MediTelecare. "These results indicate that telehealth not only allows greater access to care but can also improve clinical outcomes and potentially reduce the risk of negative outcomes such as falls. We believe that telehealth technologies combined with evidence-based clinical protocols can have a positive impact on improving patient care and reducing overall healthcare costs."
Resident-patient populations in skilled nursing facilities have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, suffering from increased illness and minimal social and familial interactions, which led to an increased need for treatment. MediTelecare's clinical protocol has indicated that increased access to quality behavioral healthcare via telehealth can significantly improve behavioral health outcomes for resident-patient communities. By using the MediTelecare standard operating protocols and a proprietary drug formulary overseen by a clinical pharmacist, MediTelecare clinicians can reduce inappropriate and unnecessary psychotropic medication use.
"During these tumultuous times, as residents in long-term care communities feel the full effects of loneliness and isolation, telehealth has allowed patients to access the uninterrupted care they need and deserve," said Dr. Sherie L. Friedrich, PsyD, Chief Psychology Officer, MediTelecare. "Separated from their loved ones, family members want to know that more time, not just medications, are being offered to their loved ones. Therapeutic interventions allow our providers to utilize non-pharmacological interventions as a first line of treatment and to collaborate with prescribers to treat the whole person in an integrative fashion."
To learn how telehealth can achieve positive outcomes among a complex patient population residing in skilled and assisted living centers, click to view the results of the "MediTelecare Yields Positive Outcomes for Skilled Nursing Facilities Through Telehealth" Report.
MediTelecare is the industry leader in providing behavioral telehealth services to residents of skilled nursing and long term care facilities. The company's clinical team consists of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, and clinical social workers providing behavioral telehealth services to thousands of residents and patients across hundreds of Skilled Care facilities and Assisted Care communities across 18 states. MediTelecare services provide client groups with a digital hub and APP based platform that includes Televideo communication, software tools and other virtual telemedicine technologies to streamline diagnostic evaluations and design personalized treatment plans for each resident's needs. Learn more at: https://www.meditelecare.com.