Oral Presentation

(V5-02) Capturing a Three-Fold Return on Investment with a Teleneurology Program

Monday, April 24
10:35 AM - 10:54 AM
Location: W230 BC

As our nation's population grows older, stroke and its sequelae are increasing. Consider these statistics from the U.S.:

• Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke
• Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death in the United States
• Strokes are the No. 1 cause of adult disability in the United States

Quantitative neurostereology and stroke neuroimaging research reveals that for every minute during a stroke, a patient loses 1.9 million neurons, 14 billion synapses, and 12 km (7.5 miles) of myelinated fibers. From a practical perspective, for every minute, a patient can be losing pages from the family memory album, losing vocabulary, and losing independence. For every hour of an untreated stroke, a patient loses the brain function equivalent to 3.6 years of normal aging. For a stroke episode of three to six hours, this could mean losing brain function that is typically lost over a period of 10 to 20 years.

Currently, there is an 11-percent shortage of neurologists; this shortage is expected to reach nearly 20 percent by 2025. The uneven geographic spread of neurologists compounds the problem for rural hospitals.

Given these scenarios, teleneurology marks an important evolution in telemedicine. It makes expert care available quickly to even the most remote locations-an important consideration since for treating stroke and other neurological emergencies, where every second counts.

A real-world case study on INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center's state-of-the-art teleneurology program will be presented to demonstrate how the facility is realizing a three-fold return on investment:

Financial ROI. A typical stroke DRG (diagnosis-related group) reimbursement is $8,500. If the patient needs tPA treatment and can stay in the local hospital, the DRG reimbursement level is even higher, typically $13,000. This is revenue that hospitals keep when they are equipped to treat patients with stroke and other acute neurological emergencies.

Community ROI. The rural hospitals are often among the largest employers in their hometowns. By helping them find new care models that contribute to their financial survival, telemedicine programs provide a real service. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who are taking on a greater share of the primary care delivered in the United States today, get the support they need. And the support for local hospitalists, emergency department physicians, and other primary care providers is invaluable. Local physicians appreciate the access to specialty expertise, and the balance these programs provide their daily-and nightly-work schedule.

Patient ROI. Obviously, patients living in rural communities should not have to continue to suffer geographic penalties for stroke. With teleneurology, this "penalty" is significantly reduced. And when hospitals bring teleneurology or other telemedicine programs to their patients, they are opening the door to 21st century innovations in care-even in the most remote locations.

Other results to be discussed include how teleneurology programs can positively impact clinical metrics such as average response time; average diagnosis and treatment time; time from ED arrival to admission; average length of stay; and door-to-drip time.

Learning Objectives:

Talbot "Mac" McCormick

President and CEO
Eagle Hospital Physicians/Eagle Telemedicine

A board-certified internist, Talbot “Mac” McCormick, M.D., began as a hospitalist in 2003, and has since served in various physician leadership roles at Eagle Hospital Physicians. As the current President and CEO, Dr. McCormick is responsible for oversight of clinical operations, comprehensive clinical “best practices”, leadership development and clinical innovation. He also oversees the execution of strategic plans for Eagle Telemedicine and LocumConnections.

He practiced internal medicine for 20 years and served in a number of executive-level positions. He received his Medical Doctorate from Emory University and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Emory University-affiliated hospitals in Atlanta.

Dr. McCormick is often cited in healthcare trade and business news articles and has appeared as a guest expert on various broadcast programs. He has also presented and served as a panelist at a number of recognized healthcare industry conferences throughout the United States.


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(V5-02) Capturing a Three-Fold Return on Investment with a Teleneurology Program

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