IT Spending Guide: Place Your Bets
Yet another patient who had required 11 nursing visits per week to take his medications is now being reminded by the care.coach avatar to take those medications. Seavey says the savings are $2,000 monthly—money that Element Care can put back into care levels for other patients and programs.
The care.coach avatar-driven protocols, along with protocols developed by Element Care, can pertain to specific patient diagnoses.
At the end of the four-month trial period, Element Care expanded the program to a total of 30 participants and is working on rolling the avatars out as more of a standard service at Element Care.
Element Care pays a monthly charge per device provided by care.coach. The charge is all-inclusive of the device, 24/7 service, and 4G internet service, Seavey notes.
Element Care does receive capitated per-member per-month funding from Medicare and Medicaid, which it has used to fund this program for participants, Seavey says. There was no need to apply for or receive grant funding for this initiative, she adds.
Privacy was one consideration when placing these avatars in participants' homes.
"We are in an urban setting with a lot of different social issues, and we were concerned about what these avatars were going to see," Seavey says. "Before placing an avatar in a participant's home, we review all aspects of the service and privacy protocols of the avatars. The health advocates on the other end are also respectful of privacy."