Staying at Home: Growing Remote Monitoring for Post-Acute Care Patients

May 31, 2022

By Bruce Gordon, Enterprise Healthcare Strategist

In a MedCity Influencer post within the MedCityNews.com newsletter from April 4, 2022, Dr. Michael Lalor presented a strong case for continuing to move appropriate patient care cases from hospital in-patient to the home. That objective is sound; however, it leaves another opportunity area unexplored for improving care with more controlled cost – moving appropriate patent care cases from residential post-acute care settings to the home. The high level of clinical intervention for the most at-risk patients is not needed for many of the people living in nursing homes, but a more intermediate combination of continuous monitoring, appropriate home visits, and out-patient visits would have a positive impact upon their lives, health, and the overall cost of care.

The post-acute care industry, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, is under increasing stress, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 tsunami of impact on patients and employees of these facilities alike. Nursing homes in particular are losing staff, having a harder time coping with the residential load. Per a Kaiser Family Foundation article, more than 70% of Americans have a negative view of nursing home performance.[i]  This stress exacerbates a trend that has grown with the increase in the aging population percentage in our country. There is a need to both augment nursing home staff, but more importantly, to provide alternative avenues for people to stay at home and avoid earlier entry into these facilities. As documented by an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) pre-pandemic survey[ii] over 75% of Americans over 50 want to stay at home or in their community as they age. The cost of high-quality nursing home care is no doubt a factor. Many families would have the ability to support at-home care with the proper monitoring; group facilities are already looking to reduce their costs and staff overload through digital technology support.

The technologies for remote monitoring and remote therapeutic delivery are in place and improving daily. The communities that are not yet in-patient at a hospital can benefit from the myriad vital sign and health status sensors and devices on the market, including mature capabilities such a pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and scales. Newly matured devices, including continuous glucose monitoring capabilities, are also now accepted across the medical community as accurate and valuable.   Maturing devices such as sophisticated heart monitors (eclipsing the ubiquitous sport watch capabilities) will soon be mainstream and I believe will gain wide acceptance of the cardiac care community. On top of these technologies and other emerging sensors, the cloud-based capability to tie together a persons’ data includes clinician-created care plans and helps monitoring organizations and families stay up to date on a person’s health status, thus allowing more people to stay at home or in the community setting of their choice.

Remote monitoring can catch signs of a clinical event that, if undetected, could lead to an Emergency Room (ER) visit and possible subsequent in-patient admission that might be avoided with remote patient monitoring before the fact. As an example, dialysis patients are at an increased risk of adverse cardiac events precipitated by factors such as weight changes and blood pressure changes. Remote daily monitoring (rather than waiting for the multiple visits to the dialysis facility) could trigger an outpatient/home visit intervention that would reduce the risk of deterioration and the ER visit.

The investment community is increasing the investments in digital health startups, both at a Venture Capital Level and Corporate Venture Capital level, as noted by MedCity News and HealthCare Dive.[iii] [iv]  During the pandemic, insurance payments for remote services (led by public payers such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and followed by the private healthcare industry), have increased in rate and scope. Investment is increasing partly because there is more money available for digital services than in prior years. While some recent retrenchment in payment and scope has occurred as the pandemic impact has eased, many changes have stayed and the forward trend is clear. The healthcare system is moving to pay for more at-home capabilities, reducing overall cost versus in-facility services and providing better health and life outcomes for patients. Challenges such as Medicaid programs that only pay for services that can reach all of the states’ population (excluding those on the wrong side of the digital divide) must be overcome.

Let me echo Dr. Lalor’s closing statement in his April 3rd 2022 article: “We just need to fund it.”  Let us also extend that focus overtly to the post-acute care community.

Bruce Gordon is an Enterprise Healthcare Strategist with Ventech Solutions, Inc., operator of most of CMS’ quality measure systems environments; he advises the Ventech Solutions spinoff company, QurHealth. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Queens College, part of the City University of New York. His experience includes leading the IT function of an insurance marketplace, establishing a healthcare IT delivery organization for American Management Systems, leading the HHS and CMS programs for the MITRE Corporation, and directing enterprise architecture for CMS’ quality measure systems. He has been delivering healthcare IT and process solutions for more than 30 years, including designs for private payer and Medicare’s provider databases, systems to process quality measures from multiple care settings, and most recently, supporting the creation of remote monitoring systems.

[i] https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/nursing-facility-staffing-shortages-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/#:~:text=Staff%20shortages%20were%20nearly%20as,this%20data%20in%20May%202020.

[ii] https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/community/info-2018/2018-home-community-preference.html#:~:text=While%2076%25%20of%20Americans%20age,within%20their%20community%20(13%25).

[iii] https://medcitynews.com/2022/04/corporate-venture-capital-backed-funding-for-digital-health-startups-increased-sharply-in-2021/?utm_campaign=MCN%20Daily%20Top%20Stories&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=209165967&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8N2kU3x3WGYWYoloX1GBtPLjx6TXfmZnt0h9hj8Rf7AOsJzfiB5L5K6LqxCsM1qfp-egP9Fv6bvgCyD6R01BxOWpWTFIlljPuRmkFjDgXFgAAEm3s&utm_content=209165967&utm_source=hs_email

[iv] https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/digital-health-VC-investment-landscape-2022/617063/

Ventech Solutions Recognized in 2022 FedHealthIT Innovation Awards

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 24, 2022 – Ventech Solutions, Inc. has been recognized in the 2022 FedHealthIT Innovation Awards for its support of the 1135 Waiver/Flexibility Request and Public Health Emergency Inquiry Helpdesk Tool for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ).

Nominated and selected by a panel of current and former federal and industry leaders from across the federal IT sector, these programs are chosen for driving technology innovation and results within the federal health IT space.

“To be recognized for delivering an innovative technology solution that better serves our medical community and government in times of an emergency is quite an honor,” said Tonia Bleecher, Chief Executive Officer for Ventech Solutions. “We’re thrilled to be able to partner with our client and deliver a successful outcome and tool that solves a vital need to the public, and we congratulate CMS-CCSQ on the award.”

Using the ServiceNow platform and as a ServiceNow Premier level partner in sales, services and the public sector, Ventech Solutions developed a new publicly accessible web-based portal for submissions of 1135 waivers of the Social Security Act that are used in a disaster or emergency by hospitals, medical providers and state agencies.

Ventech Solutions also supports CMS by operating and maintaining CCSQ’s QualityNet website, which provides healthcare quality improvement news, resources and data reporting tools and applications used by healthcare providers, through the Health Care Quality Information Systems (HCQIS) Infrastructure and Data Center Support (HIDS) contract. CCSQ’s mission is to improve healthcare outcomes, beneficiary experience of care and population health, while reducing healthcare costs. Ventech Solutions leads design and development teams for ServiceNow, cloud computing, infrastructure automation and DevSecOps delivery. The QualityNet infrastructure and network support major application environments to collect clinical data and measure quality of care for CMS beneficiaries.

Ventech Solutions will join the awardees at the 8th Annual FedHealthIT Innovation Awards on June 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

About Ventech Solutions

Ventech Solutions is a technology and healthcare solutions provider that leverages emerging technologies to deliver a wide range of enterprise services including cloud modernization, infrastructure, data, security and service integration support. Ventech Solutions leads and manages some of the most critical technology transformation initiatives for the public sector that empower government agencies to achieve their missions. For more information, visit www.ventechsolutions.com.

Media Contact

For more information, contact Media Relations at media@ventechsolutions.com.

Ventech Solutions Leverages AWS Reporting Services to Reduce IT Spend for Clients

May 16, 2022

By John Kasmark, Senior Solutions Architect

Collecting and analyzing data is critical to gaining valuable insights into your business operations and evaluating the effectiveness of your processes. Similar to measuring operational activities, it is important to measure cloud infrastructure costs and efficiency metrics.

At Ventech Solutions, we’ve developed a collection of reports, along with supporting analysis, that make the management of AWS services simple and insightful. These reports get to the heart of your financial forecasting and planning and serve to drive better results over time. Our goal is to help clients develop better budgets and realize significant IT savings. Let’s have a look at some examples that could help your enterprise.

To begin with, we might like to understand our monthly cost changes for key service areas or just the top three cost movers. A simple way to see this is with our “top cost movers” report:

In the example above, we see moderate increases in RDS and S3 as well as an attempt to employ future cost savings. We recommend using reports like this to correlate increases or decreases in costs with strategic enterprise initiatives.

Below is a helpful report with drill down capabilities that begins with an understanding of where a budget is being allocated. To learn more about each area of IT spend, we can click on any item to see details behind the numbers:

We can also use artificial intelligence to forecast and plan for future costs based on trends and anticipated events. Here we see an example with the orange cone showing what might be expected in terms of cost ranges for the remainder of the year.  This forecasting will also help us plan next year’s budget:

Our Cloud Spend Summary report example below tracks monthly invoicing and infrastructure service spend, as well as discounts across accounts. We use this to validate previous planning assumptions compared with actual incurred costs.

Your growing enterprise requires innovative approaches to manage and reduce IT spend. At Ventech Solutions, we collaborate with each client, recognizing their unique business models. This understanding forms the basis for our customized reporting and cost modeling.

Learn more about how we can help you by contacting us today: Contact Ventech Solutions

Ventech Solutions Appraises at CMMI Maturity Level 3 and Achieves Prestigious ISO Certifications

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 14, 2022 – Ventech Solutions, Inc. has been appraised at Version 2.0 Maturity Level 3 for both Development and Services under the CMMI® Institute’s Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI) appraisal program. In addition, the company has achieved certifications from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO®), including ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management Systems, ISO/EIC 20000-1:2018 for IT Service Management and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Information Security Management Systems.

CMMI is a globally recognized framework for organizations that want to measure and analyze their processes against best practices that promote continuous improvement. According to CMMI, companies that leverage these capabilities have higher levels of quality, productivity, customer satisfaction and performance.

ISO represents the international standard requirements for a quality management system. Achieving ISO certifications lends credibility to an organization by demonstrating that its service consistently meets industry and customer expectations.

“Achieving and maintaining the CMMI appraisals and ISO certifications ensure and reinforce that we are operating our business with practices that deliver a high level of efficiency, safety and security,” said Kathy Dass, Senior Vice President of Delivery at Ventech Solutions. “Our validated processes focus on quality, cost savings and compliance, key components that support our federal clients in moving their missions forward.”

CMMI and ISO programs follow a rigorous assessment process that includes a thorough evaluation of an organization’s workflows and business practices. Both programs look for a demonstrated commitment to safety and continuous improvement and validate a high level of service delivery and enhanced information security management.

Ventech Solutions delivers services and solutions to the federal sector in areas such as cloud enablement and managed services, cybersecurity, service management and integration, ServiceNow deployment and contact center operations.

About Ventech Solutions

Ventech Solutions is a technology and healthcare solutions provider that leverages emerging technologies to deliver a wide range of enterprise services including cloud modernization, infrastructure, data, security and service integration support. Ventech Solutions leads and manages some of the most critical technology transformation initiatives for the public sector that empower government agencies to achieve their missions. For more information, visit www.ventechsolutions.com.

Media Contact

For more information, contact Media Relations at media@ventechsolutions.com.