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Cardiocom wants doctors, patients to feel - and be - right at home with telehealth

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, ATA 2012 Show Dailies

MINNEAPOLIS – Home-based telehealth solutions have always been thought of as "nice to have." One of the nation's leading providers of those solutions says the time has come to change that thinking to "need to have."

Cardiocom, founded in 1997, develops and markets its own solutions for a wide range of chronic conditions, including heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, COPD and asthma. Through a Cardiocom Telehealth device, caregivers can monitor the homebound patient's vital signs and other symptom data, while patients can enter and manage their own data and communicate with providers.

Jennifer Farrell, the Minneapolis-based company's national sales director, says home-based healthcare is gaining importance as providers move away from fee-for-service and toward accountable care and patient-centered medical home models, which emphasize outcomes and penalize for avoidable events or hospital readmissions.

"We want to be proactive, instead of reactive," she said. "Focusing on better medical outcomes, and on improving chronic care," requires an interactive communications platform that enables doctor and patient to talk and exchange information at any time.

With that in mind, Cardiocom has forged a number of alliances in recent months with home healthcare agencies, including the Bayonne (N.J.) Visiting Nurse Association; At Home Healthcare; Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut; The Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast in Vero Beach, Fla.; the THA Group, which services Georgia and South Carolina; the Brockton (Mass.) Visiting Nurse Association and New York-based HCR Home Care.

"By transmitting objective, real-time health data every day, the patient is connected to our medical team so that their care plan can be adjusted as needed. HCR has used telehealth monitoring with many of its patients in the past, but this new system uses today's most advanced telehealth monitoring technology," said Elizabeth Zicari, HCR's vice president of patient services, in a press release. "We anticipate that Cardiocom's unique system will improve our patients' engagement and quality of life. We're thrilled to be able to provide our patients with peace of mind and a sense of security when they're most vulnerable."

"By encouraging patients to take an active role in their daily healthcare, the VNA will be able to help support them in their independence and reduce, or more importantly eliminate, hospital admissions. The VNA, a patient-centered organization, partners with our medical colleagues, including the patient and their family, to provide the highest quality patient care," said Joyce Baldrica, president and CEO of theVisiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast, in a separate release.

"The VNA first began utilizing telehealth in 2007. The benefits to our patients were immediate and quickly became the gold standard in managing the chronic conditions that often lead to unnecessary hospitalizations. With the ever-changing needs of technology, the VNA chose Cardiocom to better serve our patients. The Cardiocom System is also linked with our new electronic medical record, Homecare Homebase. This system also allows physicians secure access to view their patients' vital signs and homecare information," added Mary Jane Davis, RN, the VNA's director of nursing.

As part of Cardiocom's presence at ATA 2012, the company's president and CEO, Daniel L. Consentino, will moderate an Industry Executive Panel discussion on "Paying for Telemedicine" from 10:45-11:45 a.m. Monday.

Cardiocom is at Booth 630 in the ATA Exhibit Hall.

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