Networking News

Royal Philips, Banner Health Focus on Telehealth Solutions

Royal Philips and Banner Health signed a multi-year partnership to bring better healthcare infrastructure technology for value-based initiatives.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Royal Philips and Banner Health announced a 15 year partnership demonstrating how telehealth solutions support connected health initiatives to manage patients with chronic conditions.

The organizations will leverage Philips’ population health management and connected care research, along with Banner’s clinical and operational insights to deliver collaborative integrated solutions to improve patient health. The organizations aim to expand on their joint healthcare programs with this partnership.

Philips and Manner also released the results of a study showing how the use of telehealth solutions as part of Banner’s health IT infrastructure was mutually beneficial for both the organization and patients. The telehealth options significantly decreased patient healthcare costs and hospitalization rates, the study found.

The research examined 128 patients with complex and chronic medical conditions. According to the study, patients with chronic conditions account for 50 percent of overall healthcare spending, making reducing costs for these conditions critical.

Banner and Philips also tested their Intensive Ambulatory Care (IAC) program in the study, hoping to continue using it in their new partnership to significantly reduce hospitalizations, readmissions, and healthcare costs.

The Philips IAC program is part of a suite of integrated enterprise telehealth solutions built to improve patient outcomes and provide value-based care for patients.

The study found the following benefits from the first full year of the IAC program:

  • Reduced overall costs of care by 34.5 percent. Cost saving was driven primarily by a reduction in hospitalization rates and days in the hospital, as well as a reduction in professional service and outpatient costs.
  • Reduced hospitalizations by 49.5 percent. Prior to enrollment in the IAC program, there were 10.9 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month. After enrollment, the acute and long-term hospitalization rate dropped to 5.5 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month.
  • Reduced the number of days in hospital by 50 percent. Prior to enrollment, the average number of days in the hospital was 60 days per 100 patients per month, compared to 30 days after enrollment.
  • Reduced the 30-day readmission rate by 75 percent. The 30-day readmission rate went from 20 percent prior to enrollment to 5 percent after enrollment.

"This updated data of our telehealth program shows that we were able to achieve even more significant cost savings and reduced hospitalization rates by continuing to leverage Philips' powerful telehealth solution," Banner Health Vice President of Patient Care Innovation Deb Dahl said in a statement. "We have been able to make significant improvements with our most complex patients over long periods of time, and the results can potentially be applied to better manage the health of other patient populations."

Banner and Philips agreed to create a governance structure for both organizations to identify solution delivery projects and innovative technologies to keep improving patient care. They plan to take a more technical approach to health management by examining how the healthcare network can better connect clinicians with their data when treating a patient.

Incorporating advanced imaging and interventional technologies, genomics, digital pathology, and data analytics are several ways Banner and Philips hope to improve patient care.

The partnership is also expected to benefit Banner by evaluating innovative services and business models, enabling it to implement the latest healthcare technology into its IT infrastructure quicker than expected.

Much of Banner’s current infrastructure technology is not able to support the initiatives the organization wants to complete.

“We have always taken a long-term view of our business, and realized very early on that the current healthcare system was not sustainable,” Banner Health President and CEO Peter Fine explained. “With legislation driving reform, we knew that we needed to manage population health and essentially keep people healthy and out of the system to reduce costs, while ensuring better patient outcomes.”

Fine added that collaborating with “innovative technology partners such as Philips” is a key part to making a difference in patients’ lives.

Banner will also have access to Philips solutions including the radiology practice management tool, PerformanceBridge Practice, to help make Banner operations more efficient.

Performance Bridge Practice is a new value-based radiology toolset designed to understand and benchmark current imaging performance. It can also optimize performance to improve efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experience, and also facilitate delivery of appropriate and sustainable imaging.

Overall, Philips and Banner emphasized that they aim to increase their value-based care initiatives by utilizing more advanced infrastructure technology through the partnership..