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American TeleCare looks beyond the technology

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, ATA 2012 Show Dailies

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – As one of the first companies to venture into the telemedicine arena, American TeleCare has long focused on the technical challenges to bringing video-based patient monitoring services into the home. But at this year's ATA 2012 conference, ATI is offering something its boss says is "at the other end of the continuum."

ATI, which launched in 1993 and is one of the ATA's first exhibitors, is showing off the LifeView Patient Station, a multi-faceted home telehealth system that's designed to manage the link between physician and patient.

"We're taking the best practices experiences we've had in 15 years of working with health systems," said Randy Moore, CEO of the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company. "Telemedicine is the core enabler behind everything we do, but now we're looking beyond the technology. The product is not the technology – it's the outcome."

Operating on the philosophy of "Don't pay for the technology – pay for what the technology can do," ATI is offering a stand-alone product that combines video telehealth and remote patient monitoring, enabling clinicians "to extend the true 24/7 care continuum outside the hospital."

It's targeted primarily to help care for people with chronic and complex conditions – which, according to Moore, take up roughly three-quarters of the nation's hospital beds. According to recent studies, just 1 percent of the nation's healthcare patients account for 25 percent of the nation's healthcare spending among the privately insured. Those medical bills, says the Institute for Healthcare Informatics, average nearly $100,000 per person.

ATI officials say LifeView can reduce hospital, emergency room and skilled nursing costs by 50 percent to 80 percent, and is being marketed to health plans and self-insured employers. Xcel Energy was ATI's first partner, Moore said, and has seen a return of roughly $2.3 for every dollar spent on healthcare. ATI is now working with the Veterans' Administration to roll the program out to veterans with chronic kidney disease, Moore said, and is in discussions with several other potential clients.

"They're the ones with the checkbooks," he said, pointing out that business and health plans are best suited at this time to proving ROI.

Moore envisions LifeView expanding as a stand-alone product, offering "frequent, focused, high-touch" home-based healthcare services through a national network of telemedicine centers.

"Once you become patient-centric, you can make dramatic differences" in the nation's healthcare landscape, he said. "We'll actually be practicing medicine again."

ATI is at Booth 730 in the ATA Exhibit Hall.

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