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CHILDREN'S MEDICAL SERVICES PEDIATRIC DIABETES TELEHEALTH PROJECT: COST AVOIDANCE DATA

Authors: Dubault, R., Molinari, S., Sloyer, P., and Wood, B.M. In: Telemedicine Journal and e-Health 9 (Suppl 1): S1:35-6.

Abstract: Hypothesis: Cost savings can be realized by providing telehealth clinical services to children with diabetes. For each of the years being analyzed (1999 - 2001), all paid Medicaid claims for the sample population were reviewed for cost savings potential. Three areas were identified as the main targets for cost reductions: transportation, Emergency Room (ER) visits, and inpatient hospitalizations. The analysis revealed savings on transportation claims from Daytona Beach to Gainesville or Orlando where pediatric endocrinology experts were located, inpatient hospitalizations for diabetes and other endocrine disorders, and emergency room visits for diabetes and other endocrine disorders. In analyzing these claims for the target population in each of the calendar years included, it was determined that the total potential for cost savings to Florida Medicaid through the use of telemedicine for CMS eligible children with diabetes in the Daytona Beach area over this three-year span totaled $158,225.22. The total cost of the equipment and line charges for the CMS Network Pediatric Diabetes Telemedicine Project is $68,635. Thus, across the three years, the state of Florida could have realized a net potential savings of $89,590.22. Conclusion: Telehealth is an efficient and cost effective way of providing clinical services to children with diabetes. (Abstract from The American Telemedicine Association Eighth Annual Meeting & Exposition, April 27 - 30, 2003, Orlando, Florida)

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