Senior Helpers, Curavi Health and Capital Coordinated Medicine, a home-based primary care practice (HBPC), recently released the results of their pilot study that tested a new model of connecting functionally limited patients with primary care physicians via telemedicine.

The study was conducted in the Washington, D.C. area over the first half of 2019. It was composed of a remote Capital Coordinated Medicine physician with the help of an in-home “telepresenter” — a certified nursing assistant provided by Senior Helpers — that used Curavi Health’s telemedicine equipment to facilitate the virtual consultation. 

Telepresenter visits were available to patients who requested an in-home visit by a Capital Coordinated Medicine physician but were not able to be seen in 24 hours. 

When compared to the cost of an in-home visit by a primary care physician, the study found that patients experienced as much as 44% cost savings. They also found that it helped create informed decisions in care escalation. Of the 33 patients in the study, 21% (six) would have been referred to an emergency department had it not been for the telepresenter service, officials said. Consultations averaged 50 minutes, including equipment set-up, the direct examination and discussion and takedown. 

“The ability to be seen sooner by an HBPC physician benefits patients, physicians and the

healthcare system alike,” said Alan Abrams, M.D., consulting physician on the project. “Patients receive more immediate care, physicians can increase the number of patients seen, and responsive onsite examinations provide an opportunity for informed decisions in care escalation.”