Private health insurers, the U.S. and British governments and researchers are developing in-home technologies that could cut billions of dollars in health care costs by keeping elderly individuals in their homes rather than in hospitals and nursing homes, Reuters reports.
For example, health insurer Humana has undertaken a study involving 1,000 patients in 34 states to see whether daily self-monitoring and weekly video conferences with a nurse can reduce emergency medical visits. UnitedHealthcare is testing a similar program.
However, the current fee-for-service payment model could pose barriers to widespread adoption of home health technology, Reuters reports. Under the fee-for-service model, health care providers receive payments for delivering treatment, rather than for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital (Dawson, Reuters, 4/12).