SOURCE: Pharos Innovations

Pharos Innovations

August 24, 2011 09:00 ET

Tel-Assurance® Plays Key Role in Keeping Patients Healthy

Performance Bonus for Saving Medicare Millions Paid to Minneapolis-Area Hospital

NORTHFIELD, IL--(Marketwire - Aug 24, 2011) - Pharos Innovations' Tel-Assurance®, a device-free remote patient monitoring (RPM) platform, contributed significantly to Park Nicollet's $5.7 million performance bonus for its success in a five-year federal project, the Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration. The federal pilot project was launched in 2005 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide health systems with financial incentives to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.

Utilizing the Tel-Assurance platform for their heart failure patients was a key factor in their success, according to Mark Skubic, Vice President of Governmental Programs, Park Nicollet Health System. When the federal pilot program began in 2005, Park Nicollet signed up nearly 500 heart failure patients to use the Tel-Assurance platform for monitoring. On a daily basis, either via phone or Internet, patients used basic health measurement tools like a bathroom scale, to answer five simple health questions. Depending on the patients' responses to those questions -- if there was a warning sign -- a nurse would follow up suggesting medication adjustments or a doctor's visit if necessary.

"I'd estimate that our use of Tel-Assurance avoided one hospital visit per patient, per year," said Skubic. "If programs similar to ours were adopted across the country, it could save taxpayers $25 billion."

"We extend our congratulations to Park Nicollet," said Randall Williams, CEO of Pharos Innovations. "They have done the hard work to transform their care model and the results are irrefutable. This third party validated analysis and recognition by CMS confirms what we have seen time and time again -- when clients use our technologies to transform their systems of care for chronic disease populations, everyone wins." Williams continued, "Patients stay in better control of their health; providers have daily visibility into their population and are able to coordinate care in a simpler and better way; and financial stakeholders are able to capture substantial cost savings through higher quality outcomes and reduced hospitalizations."

Under the Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration, physician groups can earn incentive payments based on the quality of care provided and the estimated savings generated in Medicare expenditures for the patient population they serve. CMS established minimum benchmarks for each quality performance measurement. To receive incentive payments, a group had to meet the quality performance benchmark.

Over the course of the demonstration project, Medicare has paid $110 million in incentives to seven of the 10 participants. They are paid out of the savings they deliver to Medicare and for providing patients with a better care experience. Park Nicollet has saved Medicare $12.3 million since the program began, with $10 million in savings in the past year.

According to the CMS news release, "...this demonstration has shown positive results, including significant progress in areas of both quality improvement and savings in Medicare expenditures."

"As Pharos builds on the learning and successes of this and other large scale population implementations, we have continued to refine our approach to assisting clients achieve their key clinical and financial goals," Williams said. "Pharos' unique experience has positioned us to support clients, as the market transitions to bundled payment and accountable care."

About Pharos Innovations
Founded in 1995, Pharos Innovations assists healthcare providers and payers in achieving next generation clinical and financial performance improvement. An innovative, modular, device-free remote patient monitoring platform, Tel-Assurance, improves care coordination and drives dramatic clinical improvement and cost savings. Tel-Assurance proactively involves patients in their care each day and results in the early identification of clinical deterioration.

Tel-Assurance substantially expands the reach, efficiency and effectiveness of clients' current health management programs for complex chronic conditions. The Pharos solution continues to lead the transformation of health care through clinical improvement and financial impact, and is the recipient of the prestigious American Heart Association National Outcomes Award. For more information visit

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