Health Hero renews patient monitoring contract with Veterans Integrated Service Network 8 for three years

Mountain View 03 December 2002Health Hero Network Inc. has signed a three-year contract extension with Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 8. The VISN 8 Community Care Co-ordination Service (CCCS) programmes succeeded in reducing hospital admissions, surgeries, and prescriptions by over 60 percent during a two-year demonstration project incorporating Health Hero technology. Due to the success of its programmes, the Community Care Co-ordination Service was selected at the Fourth Annual Disease Management Association of America (DMAA) Leadership Forum as a consecutive award winner.

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For the second year, VISN 8 received the Pfizer e-Health Leadership Award at the DMAA conference. The award recognises the CCCS's commitment to using interactive technology in its programmes to co-ordinate health care needs while maintaining the patient in the home environment.

The CCCS was created by the VISN 8 Network to meet the challenges of providing services to chronically ill veterans in Southern Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico in their place of residence. The programmes supported by the CCCS serve over 1000 patients with mental illness or chronic diseases who are at risk for recurring hospital admissions.

The contract extension was prompted by the programme's success in reducing costs while maintaining high standards of care and increasing patient satisfaction. Participants have shown a reduction in usage of services, as well as self-reported improvements in quality of life while using the Health Buddy. According to Marlis Meyer, MA, Network Programme Director for the VISN 8 Community Care Co-ordination Service, reasons for the contract extension include findings that over 90 percent of veterans using the Health Buddy feel more educated and knowledgeable about their disease states than they did prior to the use of the care co-ordination and technology approach.

"The e-Health Leadership Award is a significant honour because it recognises our achievement as a national telehealth leader. Using Health Hero's technology, our programme has demonstrated a reduction in usage of services, as well as self-reported improvements in quality of life. Our success with the CCCS programmes resulted in the expansion of our relationship with Health Hero Network", stated Rita Kobb, ARNP, care co-ordinator of the Tech Care Co-ordination Programme, formerly the Rural Home Care Project, at Lake City VAMC.

"VISN 8's outstanding Community Care Co-ordination Service programmes again show that Health Hero's technology enables health care professionals to provide efficient and effective care for chronically ill patients. We are excited to expand and enhance our success with VISN 8 CCCS, a nationally recognised telehealth provider", stated Julie Cheitlin Cherry, Health Hero Network Medical Director.

Through the Community Care Co-ordination Service, veterans receive a Health Buddy appliance that connects to their phone line and monitors their symptoms, behaviours, and health status. The Health Buddy appliance delivers daily reminders about important healthy lifestyle guidelines such as diet, exercise, and medication compliance to each veteran. Care co-ordinators receive and review patient responses on Health Hero's Web-based iCare Desktop which automatically flags patients as low, medium, or high risk, providing the opportunity for care co-ordinator and physician intervention before a patient's condition becomes acute.

Health Hero Network Inc., founded in 1988, develops and licenses industry-leading technology solutions for health monitoring and management. The Health Hero technology platform offers Internet-enabled care management tools, multiple patient interfaces, and a secure environment for data communications. The company's product line includes Health Buddy, Health Buddy Web, and other licensee devices for data collection and communications with patients, and iCare Desktop, an Internet-based care management and research solution for health care professionals.

Health Hero offers over a dozen standard health management programmes delivering daily monitoring and education, and promoting positive behavioural change for better chronic care with lower costs to the health care system. Health Hero Network technology is protected by over 50 issued United States patents. More news on the company is available in the VMW December 2002 article TheraSense and Health Hero Network team up for diabetes data monitoring and patient management.


Leslie Versweyveld

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