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Postdischarge Monitoring Using Interactive Voice Response System Reduces 30-Day Readmission Rates in a Case-managed Medicare Population

Graham, Jove, PhD; Tomcavage, Janet, RN, MSN; Salek, Doreen, BS, RN; Sciandra, Joann, BSN, CCM; Davis, Duane E., MD; Stewart, Walter F., PhD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e318229433e
Original Articles
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Background: Automated home monitoring systems have been used to coordinate care to improve patient outcomes and reduce rehospitalizations, but with little formal study of efficacy. The Geisinger Monitoring Program (GMP) interactive voice response protocol is a post-hospital discharge telemonitoring system used as an adjunct to existing case management in a primary care Medicare population to reduce emergency department visits and hospital readmissions.

Objectives: To determine if use of GMP reduced 30-day hospital readmission rates among case-managed patients.

Research Design: A pre-post parallel quasi-experimental study.

Methods: A total of 875 Medicare patients who were enrolled in the combined case-management and GMP program were compared with 2420 matched control patients who were only case managed. Claims data were used to document an acute care admission followed by a readmission within 30 days in the preintervention and postintervention periods (ie, before and during 2009). Regression modeling was used to estimate the within-patient effect of the intervention on readmission rates.

Results: The use of GMP with case management was associated with a 44% reduction in 30-day readmissions in the study cohort (95% confidence interval, 23%−60%, P=0.0004), when using the control group to control for secular trends. Similar estimates were obtained when using different propensity score adjustment methods or different approaches to handling dropout observations.

Conclusions: Investing in automated monitoring systems may reduce hospital readmission rates among primary care case-managed patients. Evidence from this quasi-experimental study demonstrates that the combination of telemonitoring and case management, as compared with case management alone, may significantly reduce readmissions in a Medicare Advantage population.

Geisinger Center for Health Research, Danville, PA

The authors declare that they have no direct financial interests to disclose. Geisinger as a health system is a customer of, and has a financial interest in, AMC Health and may benefit if the company is successful in marketing its product(s) related to the research.

Reprints: Jove Graham, PhD, Geisinger Center for Health Research, 100 N. Academy Ave, MC44-00, Danville, PA 17822-4400. E-mail: jhgraham1@geisinger.edu.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.