Talking Scales And Telemedicine: ACO Tools To Keep Patients Out Of The Hospital

MPR News' Elizabeth Stawicki, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: "When Bill Hill prepares to weigh himself each morning, a mechanical voice speaks to him from a small box on his nightstand that is connected to the scale on the floor. … For Hill, who was diagnosed with heart failure more than seven years ago, the morning weigh-in has become as routine as putting on his shoes. Like countless other patients nationwide, he's becoming more involved in his healthcare. That's a major goal of the federal health care overhaul. Essentia Health has been taking care of patients like Hill with telehealth tools like the special scale since 1998. And now it is an Accountable Care Organization, or ACO. That means it takes responsibility for the health of a population of Medicare beneficiaries and can share any savings created by keeping people like Hill out of the hospital" (Stawicki, 8/15). Read the story.

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