Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. What is Telehealth Monitoring?
  2. What is Telemedicine? Is there a difference between telemedicine and telehealth?
  3. What are the main benefits of your Telehealth services (for individuals, healthcare providers, insurers)?
  4. What chronic conditions can be managed with your products?
  5. How does remote vital signs patient monitoring work?
  6. What is the impact that reimbursement and regulatory issues have on successful development and sustainability of telehealth programs?
  7. What is the difference between Phone Monitoring and Telemonitoring?
  8. How will telehealth impact the healthcare industry?
  9. What can administrators do to increase staff acceptance of technology and telehealth?
  10. Are follow up calls truly effective in improving patient outcomes and satisfaction?
  11. We are encouraging patient self management, how can CMS Telehealth assist us in this effort?

  1. What is Telehealth Monitoring?

    Telehealth monitoring is the remote exchange of physiological data between a patient (who may at home or mobile) and medical staff or other providers to assist in diagnosis and monitoring. It includes (amongst other things) a home unit to measure and monitor temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs for clinical review in a hospital or doctor’s office, using wired technology (i.e. phone lines or network cables) or wireless technology (i.e. cellular or encrypted Wi-Fi). This information can be shared with physicians and other health professionals or family members at the patient's discretion.

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  2. What is Telemedicine? Is there a difference between telemedicine and telehealth?

    Yes there is. Telemedicine is the exchange of medical information from one provider to another via electronic communications to improve patients' health status.

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  3. What are the main benefits of your Telehealth services (for individuals, healthcare providers, insurers)?

    CMS offers an easy and affordable way to remotely monitor and manage health and wellness, especially for the chronic conditions that account for 75 percent of all healthcare spending - diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, obesity, and asthma. For individuals, CMS offers ease of use, convenience, and affordability. Healthcare providers benefit from accurate, real-time information that allows them to make the best decisions for optimal patient care. Insurers benefit from an affordable system that can be scaled to patient populations both large and small, and requires no additional software, training, or database reconfiguration. And of course, all these groups benefit from CMS' proven results, too.

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  4. What chronic conditions can be managed with your products?

    Our current product line includes devices designed for individuals with congestive heart failure (CHF), hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and obesity. We also have several new products coming soon for other cardiac, pulmonary, and weight-related conditions.

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  5. How does remote vital signs patient monitoring work?

    Our products make it easy to securely capture, store, and share health information such as glucose levels, body weight, or blood pressure. All a user needs to do is take a reading with his or her device of choice, and the resulting information will be automatically saved and wirelessly transmitted to a secure remote information management system. A designated healthcare team can then access this information through the secure website portal to assist with timely and appropriate healthcare decisions.

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  6. What is the impact that reimbursement and regulatory issues have on successful development and sustainability of telehealth programs?

    In order to answer this question it is important that you check with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), your state Medicaid Office and private payers for official documentation of telehealth regulations in your region or state.

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  7. What is the difference between Phone Monitoring and Telemonitoring?

    Telemonitoring requires "electronic information processing technologies" to transmit data collected from a device connected to a patient to a provider. By this definition Telemonitoring requires electronic monitoring devices capable of this type of transmission. The Caring Touch System version of Phone Monitoring, on the other hand, uses the patient, themselves, to communicate the data they collect with easy to use and low cost scales, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers and other devices. These are all available at most drug stores and major consumer retail stores. The patient simply responds to a question asked of them. The data collected is the same. The transmission is the only difference. Further, post discharge, most patients will not be able to afford electronic monitoring devices. By training them on the equipment they can use all the time providers will increase the likelihood of continuous patient self-monitoring. Finally, the Caring Touch System enables the gathering of a much broader array of data through a customizable set of questions and an interactive session with the patient. This more robust set of data gives the health care provider more information with which to make treatment decisions. By becoming a “data driven” business healthcare providers will be better able to manage the challenges of the Pay for Performance model.

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  8. How will telehealth impact the healthcare industry?

    CMS Telehealth technologies offer one of the few concrete and readily available ways to dramatically increase the efficiency of the healthcare industry. CMS Telehealth technology can reduce cost and improve care by providing information, monitoring patient progress, providing access to records or being used to deliver care. Specifically, the economics of the CaringTouch phone monitoring system and other services enables providers to have more frequent contact with their entire patient population. By being able to easily and cost-effectively gather data from all their patients, providers can move more rapidly to a "data driven" approach to health care. A data driven business will be able to respond more quickly and more efficiently than traditional visit only based practices.

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  9. What can administrators do to increase staff acceptance of technology and telehealth?

    When staff members are introduced to telehealth technologies, they may be concerned about changes in procedure, which is a common reaction. This can be addressed by becoming familiar with our software, its ease of use and how our monitoring system contributes to improved patient care. Increased communication is critical to help staff understand the benefits of telehealth and the positive impact it can have, both for patients/clients as well as for the organization.

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  10. Are follow up calls truly effective in improving patient outcomes and satisfaction?

    If patients do not comply with discharge instructions, or they fail to react to adverse symptoms, they can be candidates for costly re-admissions. Multiple studies have shown that simple follow-up phone calls to patients after discharge can result in:

    •    improved prescription fulfillment compliance
    •    identification of real and possible adverse events before they escalate
    •    improved patient satisfaction and loyalty

    A single study illustrates the need for follow-up. A study of 361 discharged patients (CMAJ; February 3, 2004) concluded:

    •    23% reported at least one adverse event
    •    Of the patients reporting an adverse event, 50% had an adverse event that was preventable or ameliorable
    •    The most common adverse events were drug events (72%), therapeutic errors (16%), and nosocomial (contracted while in hospital) infections (11%)

    The study concluded that discharge telephone calls can be instrumental in managing adverse events.


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  11. We are encouraging patient self management, how can CMS Telehealth assist us in this effort?
    Through the patient’s own participation in a regular follow up and monitoring program, he or she learns the importance of monitoring their own vital signs and general well being, all of which are important to their long-term health. In addition, while the first training in how to use new devices to monitor vital signs such as their weight, blood pressure, heart rate and blood glucose takes place in the hospital or home care situation under the guidance of a nurse, live monitoring calls reinforce this training through regular interaction with your staff, who can answer questions and coach the patient on best use.

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