Reflections Healthcare Gains New Efficiencies and Patients with ZyterHome™
Reflections Healthcare is a provider practice that serves a small, but growing, town of approximately 40,000 people just west of Las Vegas. The practice’s population of more than 3,000 patients, particularly Medicare-age patients, has a high rate of chronic disease.
Dr. William V. Craig at Reflections Healthcare found that 5% of his Medicare patients comprised over 15% of his office visits. While Dr. Craig committed to continuing to provide high-quality care for these patients, he also wanted to free up more time for office visits and attract new patients from the growing number of new residents moving to the town. He began researching information about remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions that would enable patients with chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, to monitor their conditions at home. Dr. Craig contacted Zyter for more information on ZyterHome™, the company’s award-winning RPM solution, developed especially for provider practices.
Reflections Healthcare adopted ZyterHome in the spring of 2021. “The Zyter team worked very closely with us to get us quickly up to speed,” says Dr. Craig. “The Zyter team was marvelous and built a trusted relationship with us as we learned how to use ZyterHome most efficiently for our practice.”
ZyterHome is a comprehensive, HIPAA-compliant RPM solution that enables provider practice physicians to monitor patient healthcare data between office visits, while patients manage their chronic conditions at home. Integrated with the ZyterHealth™ platform, ZyterHome consists of patient-facing, preconfigured LTE-enabled devices (blood pressure monitor, blood glucose monitor, digital weight scale) to seamlessly track and transmit a patient’s physiological data to the physician’s office.
The provider selects one or more preconfigured ZyterHome medical devices, which are shipped to the patient’s home after the patient signs a consent form. Controlled with a simple on/off button, ZyterHome medical devices are easy to use and require no technical expertise. There is also no need to configure or pair them to a common wireless standard or Wi-Fi. The patient just turns on the ZyterHome device and follows the simple instructions in the user guide. Support from Zyter is just a phone call away, but Dr. Craig also reaches out to ensure that his patients are comfortable using their ZyterHome devices.
Dr. Craig and his medical assistants first identified 300 patients appropriate for ZyterHome. Dr. Craig sent out a personal letter with ZyterHome information to these patients, and received a positive response from 100 of them. After signing them up for ZyterHome, a two-person team at the practice followed up with regular phone calls to answer questions and ensure that patients were using their ZyterHome devices consistently. Dr. Craig also continues to encourage other practice members to enroll in ZyterHome.
According to Dr. Craig, all his ZyterHome patients are using the weight scale and blood pressure cuff devices, while about 40% are using the glucose monitoring device. He notes that glucose monitoring with ZyterHome benefits not only his diabetic patients, but also persons with hypoglycemia and polycystic ovary syndrome.
ZyterHome isn’t just for Medicare patients. Weight monitoring and management with ZyterHome also enable Dr. Craig to increase care for his patients in the 16-20 year-old range who struggle with obesity. ”It’s a tough time of life, both emotionally and nutritionally, for young people who are obese,“ he says. ”Because of RPM with ZyterHome, we now have the vision to recognize the needs of this patient population.“
Dr. Craig and his clinical staff access each patient’s physiological data on an intuitive ZyterHome dashboard, accessible from any web browser. He also initiates virtual visits with ZyterHome patients from the dashboard. Dr. Craig and his staff can securely message and collaborate using context-aware communication, thanks to ZyterHome’s seamless integration with the practice’s Electronic Health Record system. This is especially important to the Reflections Healthcare staff when ZyterHome alerts that a patient’s data has veered from the predefined range.
”Weight monitoring with ZyterHome helps us manage not only obesity, but also congestive heart failure,“ Dr. Craig adds. ”When we get an alert on the ZyterHome dashboard that a heart patient has gained 3 pounds in a day or 5 pounds in a week, I initiate a video visit with that patient to find out the cause. If it‘s fluid retention, intervening early reduces the patient’s suffering, improves the outcome, and reduces overall medical costs for their insurance provider.“
After two billing cycles, Dr. Craig reports that ZyterHome is delivering the benefits he expected and more. “We’re finding that the Medicare patients using ZyterHome are scheduling fewer office visits, making fewer calls to the office, and require fewer urgent care visits and hospitalizations. At-home monitoring with ZyterHome is cheaper for everybody in terms of time, money, and personal investment – even better than the benefits of RPM suggested by the literature.”
- Fewer office visits frees time to see about 500 new patients per year
- Fewer urgent care visits and hospitalizations
- Reduced the wait times for new patient appointments
- Potential to grow practice from 3,000 to 4,500 patients in next three years
- 100% Medicare reimbursement
One of Dr. Craig’s patients is equally pleased with ZyterHome. “I don’t have to run into the office when I’m feeling in trouble with my blood pressure. I call Kaye at Dr. Craig’s office and she checks my BP reading. If it’s too high, she lets Dr. Craig know right away and we can adjust medications or treatment. It takes the worry out of the situation.”
Reflections Healthcare has been able to significantly reduce the wait times for new patient appointments. Dr. Craig expects to accept around 40 new patients per month, or about 500 per year, for office visits thanks to reducing routine Medicare visits and replacing them with in-home monitoring using ZyterHome. He estimates that his practice could grow from 3,000 to 4,500 patients over the next three years. “ZyterHome has helped us expand our practice and it’s booming!” he says.
Adopting RPM with ZyterHome has also increased Reflections Healthcare’s revenue. ZyterHome assists billing workflows by logging every 20-minute increment spent viewing RPM data and providing a monthly total. According to the 2021 guidelines from the Center for Medicare Services Remote Physiologic Monitoring Program, Medicare will reimburse providers for clinical time providing care using RPM, such as time spent reviewing patient physiological data and responding to alerts on ZyterHome.
“Of course, our primary goal is to provide quality care for our patients, but expanding financially is also a great benefit,” says Dr. Craig. “After the second billing cycle, our practice received 100% reimbursement for providing care using RPM.”
When asked what advice he would give other provider practice physicians about adopting RPM with ZyterHome, he replied, “Have them call me. I will tell them how ZyterHome has enabled me to achieve goals in my practice that I could not have reached otherwise. And beyond that, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, at-home monitoring with ZyterHome has allowed us to maintain strong connections with our Medicare patients and provide them with all-important hope and peace of mind during this challenging time.”
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