Mobile Healthcare Apps Encourage Healthier Outcomes

Clinics and hospitals are focused on reducing preventable readmissions through better patient communication and follow up. A 2014 study from the Mayo Clinic showed that patients who used smartphone apps to record weight and blood pressure – and participated in cardiac rehab – lowered cardiovascular risk factors and 90-day readmissions. According to the study, 20 percent of the app-user patients experienced readmission compared to 60 percent of patients who completed rehab only.

Andrey Ostrovsky, MD, CEO of Boston-based Care at Hand, developer of an app-based care coordination system, says the move toward value-based payments drives efficient use of affordable, accessible technologies, such as mobile apps.

"Our company wouldn't exist if not for Affordable Care Act," he says.

Indeed, the rise in mHealth technologies correlates with ACA's plan to to reduce preventable, excessive readmissions with cuts to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System in 2012. Medicare spends more than $17 billion annually on avoidable readmissions with penalties that total up to 3 percent of inpatient claims for 30-day readmissions.

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Maya Haynes is a dual-degree student Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts with majors in sociology and public health, and a contributor to Medical Groups. She is committed to making sure vulnerable populations in the United States are provided with the knowledge and resources to best plan and care for their families. She regularly volunteers at local preschools and community centers to assess the needs to of the populations she plans on serving.