6/29/12 By David Lindeman
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will put into action significant measures to improve the availability of health care, while lowering costs. As the ACA becomes fully implemented, it offers a future in which more individuals will have insurance, patients will be further engaged in their own care, and providers will keep more people healthy and out of the hospital. Moving toward this prevention-oriented future, we need to understand how to best accommodate individuals as they are increasingly encouraged to be cost-conscious consumers and engaged patients. We also need to identify and promote successful technology-enabled programs and strategies that will help achieve the goals of the ACA.
The Center for Technology and Aging sees tremendous promise in the role that health information technology can play in keeping people healthy, out of the hospital, and more engaged in their own care. Particularly promising for reducing readmissions and managing patient care are remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems, medication management devices, and care coordination technologies. Coupled with the rapid expansion of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs), these technologies can be effectively incorporated into accountable care initiatives, large health care systems, and community-based care settings to allow patients and providers to more efficiently interact, while reducing hospitalizations and costs.
With the decision from the Supreme Court, we are eager to enter a prevention-minded, cost-conscious future for health care in the US, and expect these technologies will play an ever greater role in helping us get there.
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