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Breakthrough in HIPAA-Compliant Remote Diabetes Care

The FDA-cleared Remote Patient Monitoring system from ALR Technologies’ (ALRT) has been hailed as a potential breakthrough in remote diabetes care. The system providing doctors and health care professionals with a method of being reimbursed for time spent providing remote treatment to long term diabetes sufferers and to receive recompense for the chronic care management services provided.

The system – termed Health e-Connect – is an off-the-shelf software system that helps to connect diabetes patients with care providers, no matter where the team members are based in the country. Members of the care team are able to log on through a secure web portal and enter data and communicate with the entire team.

Based on the payment system and schedule due to be decided on Nov 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would issue doctors a monthly payment of $41.92 for the provision of up to 20 minutes remote care per patient. Once the system is implemented and ALRT begins invoicing for its services, the system could generate up to $2.3 million in monthly revenue for ALRT for diabetes services alone.

The company has invested considerably just to get to this stage, and has committed millions in investment to obtain approval from the FDA and to meet all HIPAA requirements to ensure privacy of patient’s data is not compromised. This places ALRT some way ahead of competitors and in an ideal position to start generating a return in the investment. The system promises to shave millions of the cost of providing long term care and will ensure doctors receive payment for the treatments provided.

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Clinical trials of the system showed that it is possible to help reduce A1c levels, which has an important impact on diabetes patients, and it is currently enrolling patients into its system to show that it is also commercially viable. If it turns out to be the case, the unique patient monitoring program could be adopted for managing chronic care of other diseases.

The system has now been implemented at the Kansas City Metropolitan Physician Association (KCMPA) which is the first large-scale trial of the system. The aim is to help high-risk patients reduce glucose levels, with ALRT and KCMPA agreeing on a fee for the use of the system should the CMS reimbursement plan come into force.

With diabetes expected to affect 300 million people by the year 2025 it is essential that chronic care systems are in place to help manage the disease. The current diabetes management cost in the US is $245 billion per annum and it is hoped that the system will see substantial savings made while reducing Ac1 levels; the predominant method of assessing the effectiveness of diabetes control measures.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.