The Home Smart Clinic enables health plans and providers to deliver on expected ROI and drive improved health outcomes, TytoCare says.
St. Luke’s Health System of Idaho and its health plan have partnered with TytoCare for virtual primary care at home.
TytoCare’s Home Smart Clinic devices and kits will be made available to St. Luke’s employees and St. Luke’s Health Plan members beginning in 2024. These virtual visits will be covered with a $0 copay.
St. Luke’s Health Plan is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the not-for-profit health system.
“As we remain true to our commitment of supporting employee well-being, we have chosen to offer TytoHome kits to our employee population first,” said Erin Simms, vice president of Human Resources for St. Luke’s.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The Home Smart Clinic replicates the doctor’s office in the home. It enables health plans and providers to deliver on expected ROI and drive improved health outcomes, TytoCare said.
It is FDA-cleared to perform heart, lung (including AI-powered wheeze detection), throat, ear, and body temperature exams. Home Smart Clinic combines a handheld remote examination device, AI-backed Tyto Insights smart diagnosis support and Tyto Engagement Labs.
TytoCare serves over 220 major health systems and health plans in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The home clinic expands access to care, particularly in rural areas. By allowing virtual care exams at home, the model helps address clinical staffing shortages while increasing primary care utilization by 12%, according to recent data published in July by the Journal of Health Economics. Home Smart Clinic also reduced cost of care by 7%, reduced ED visits by 24.1% and urgent care visits by 11.3%.
The authors wrote that their findings “align with the notion that device adoption and the consequent increase in primary care use either substitute for more intensive settings or aid in preventing cases from escalating to such settings.”
THE LARGER TREND
Primary care at home and acute hospital care at home have grown as these programs have shown success, in outcomes, patient satisfaction and ROI for hospitals that are able to offer these programs at scale.
In Pennsylvania, Geisinger at Home started in 2018 to bring primary care services to its health plan members who have complex or chronic conditions such as heart failure, emphysema or diabetes. Figures as of January estimated that 2,000 of Geisinger Health Plan’s 600,000 members were enrolled.
During COVID-19, waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowed Acute Hospital Care at Home to flourish when the pandemic necessitated having acute services provided outside of the hospital.
Recently, CMS, through a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Health Forum, said the program had a low mortality rate and minimal complications related to escalations back to the brick-and-mortar hospital.
As of March 20, 277 hospitals across 123 systems in 37 states were approved to participate in the Acute Hospital Care at Home program, which has been extended through 2024.
ON THE RECORD
“St. Luke’s Health Plan was established on the foundation of removing barriers to care and this new partnership with TytoCare is a major step forward in realizing that goal,” said Matt Wolff, president of St. Luke’s Health Plan.