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Home Telehealth in High-Risk Dialysis Patients: A 3-Year Study.

Telemed J E Health. 2013 May 14 Minatodani DE, Berman SJ. 1 St. Francis Healthcare Foundation , Honolulu, Hawaii.

Objective: This study is a continuation of a previous pilot project that demonstrated improved health outcomes and significant cost savings using home telehealth with nurse oversight in patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing chronic dialysis. We are reporting the results of a larger sample size over a 3-year study period to test the validity of our original observations.

Subjects and Methods: Ninety-nine patients were included in this study; 43 (18 females, 25 males) with a mean age of 58.6 years were enrolled in the remote technology (RT) group, and 56 (26 females, 30 males) with a mean age of 63.1 years were enrolled in the usual-care (UC) group. Health resource outcome measures included hospitalizations, emergency room (ER) visits, and number of days hospitalized. Economic analysis was conducted on hospital and ER charges.

Results: Hospitalizations (RT, 1.8; UC, 3.0), hospital days (RT, 11.6; UC, 25.0), and hospital and ER charges (RT, $66,000; UC, $157,000) were significantly lower in the RT group, as were hospital and ER charges per study day (RT, $159; UC, $317).

Conclusions: The results support our previous findings, that is, home telehealth can contribute to improved health outcomes and cost of care in high-risk dialysis patients.

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