WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross today announced the launch of an innovative, wireless remote monitoring program to help members with congestive heart failure (CHF) to better monitor and manage this potentially fatal condition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than five million Americans have CHF. Increasing prevalence, hospitalizations, and deaths have made CHF a major chronic condition in the United States, with annual costs of nearly $40 billion.
Through this innovative program, Anthem Blue Cross is utilizing wireless remote monitoring technology to provide real-time information to help those with CHF better manage their conditions and potentially prevent the need to return to the hospital. Anthem is undertaking this pilot program with members in California who have been diagnosed with CHF.
"We are passionate about developing state-of-the-art solutions for our members to help them better manage their health and to improve communication between them and their health care provider that can lead to greater coordination of care," said Dr. Kurt Tamaru, Medical Director with Anthem Blue Cross. "This is an exciting program as it combines wireless remote technology with clinically driven interventions to help deliver the right care at the right time and in a more effective and efficient way for our members."
Participants in the program who have a history of emergency room visits and hospitalizations will receive a wireless weight scale and blood pressure cuff to help them track their weight and blood pressure daily. Changes in weight and blood pressure are two key indicators of a potential change in their condition that may signal a more serious problem. The program will alert physicians of California PPO members when their patients gain weight that may be caused by fluid retention, which develops prior to patients becoming symptomatic. Identifying these individuals and enabling their doctors to treat their fluid retention in a timely manner, before shortness of breath develops, can prevent emergency room visits and subsequent acute hospital admissions.
The data collected from the monitoring devices is connected to an existing phone line and, using Bluetooth® technology, is automatically populated to a secure web portal that can be accessed by the member, physician, care giver, and case manager. If irregularities in numbers occur the member is contacted for the most appropriate action. Utilizing the latest home-monitoring technology, this program promotes better coordination and quality of care and earlier intervention to help get CHF under control.
About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, in Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit you YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.
SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross