Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate.
Today, Ochsner Health – one of the largest health systems in the Southeastern United States – released the findings of a new pilot program that highlights how access to digital medicine with remote patient management can improve outcomes for Medicaid patients battling chronic diseases like Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes.
The statistically and clinically significant results of the pilot program– one of the first in the country – showed that enrollment in Ochsner Digital Medicine brought nearly half of all out-of-control Hypertension patients under control at only 90 days, which was 23% more likely than usual care. Control rates continued to improve as patients remained in the program during its first 18 months. More impressively, 59% of people with poorly-controlled diabetes achieved control over their condition as part of the digital program – a rate twice as high as usual care.
“So meaningfully moving the needle among Medicaid patients with Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension is unprecedented. We couldn’t be prouder of the results we have seen from our Louisiana Medicaid Digital Medicine Pilot,” said Dr. Denise Basow, Ochsner’s Chief Digital Officer. “We are confident this program can be scaled to improve the lives of others across the state and around the country to mitigate the impacts of chronic disease.”
In Louisiana, roughly 14% of the adult population has diabetes, and 40% has hypertension. After witnessing Medicaid programs fall behind in providing access to critical digital health programs that could create better outcomes for patients with these chronic diseases, Ochsner Health launched this pilot program June 2020 at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and has now enrolled more than 4,400 patients.
Dr. Lauren Beal, Medical Director of Primary Care and Community Clinics – Northwest Louisiana, enrolled numerous patients into the Ochsner Digital Medicine pilot. Said Beal, “As clinicians, we are always working to improve patient outcomes and the overall patient experience, and this program shows that we can use home-based technologies to accomplish both."
Following completion of the first year of the pilot, an independent actuarial firm confirmed that health outcomes of Medicaid patients improved by scientifically significant standards. Most patients achieved control of their hypertension and diabetes within 90 days of beginning the program, even those who had poor control prior to enrollment.
In addition to improving health outcomes, participation in the digital medicine program resulted in high patient satisfaction, with a net promoter score greater than 91 for Medicaid participants. This is consistent with the high patient satisfaction with digital chronic disease management programs at Ochsner among non-Medicaid patients.
“Over 30,000 patients have benefited from Ochsner’s Digital Medicine chronic disease programs,” said Dr. Richard Milani, the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Ochsner Health System. “We're offering patients compassionate human care combined with the power of technology, and we’ll continue to expand these programs to help more patient populations.”
Given the variability in coverage for remote patient management, Ochsner Health is seeking to obtain reimbursement from payors and employers to further expand and formalize Digital Medicine’s offering beyond its pilot in Louisiana and across the United States.
About Ochsner Health
Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 36,000 employees and over 4,600 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 47 hospitals and more than 370 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit www.ochsner.org.