In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, SuperCare Health and Optum collaborated to create a COVID-19 Telemonitoring Program that allows symptomatic patients to be monitored and to recover in their homes, avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.
When Dr. Curtis Sather, Medical Director and pulmonologist at Optum, thought about developing a COVID-19 monitoring program, he did not hesitate to immediately contact SuperCare Health. He knew close respiratory monitoring would be vital in setting up alternative care for people who were confirmed for, or potentially had, COVID-19 but didn’t require hospitalization. “I knew SuperCare Health had the background and the know-how to put something like this together,” said Dr. Sather
Albert Ramos, an analyst with Optum, discussed the promptness people demonstrated in deploying the COVID-19 Telemonitoring Program. “Everyone understood how timely this resource was,” he said. It also helped that SuperCare Health was already equipped with everything needed for this program.
Paula Dahl, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, emphasized that SuperCare Health is a respiratory disease management company that has specialized in and has developed a variety of programs for people with respiratory conditions for years, so it was a natural progression to adapt these proven clinical models to assist COVID-19 patients in this time of crisis.
Dahl credits part of SuperCare Health’s ability to deploy a solution for COVID-19 patients to the fact that SuperCare already had the framework established within their iBreathe COPD readmission prevention program™. The clinical pathway included the ability to spot check SpO2 blood oxygen saturation, capture daily health monitoring question responses based on the Borg dyspnea score and other ADLs to the SuperCare Health Clinical electronically. This daily tracking allows SuperCare Health teams to intervene in the patients’ care promptly and appropriately, work with the Optum teams on escalations and ongoing communication aimed at helping this high-risk patient population get the care they need.
Oxygen therapy is an essential part of this innovative remote treatment, and Dr. Sather is to credit for this realization. COVID-19 is a disease different from others not just because of how quickly patients can become ill, but also because of how it can affect oxygenation before symptoms are displayed.
Dr. Sather discussed how he made the connection that oxygen was needed for a patient’s recovery. With the information he knew about oxygen’s role in COVID-19, he realized O2 would be key to monitoring a patient’s success and not ventilation.
Dr. Sather explains that, when avoiding relapse, a common concern with COVID-19 patients is the difficulty in determining the severity of a patient’s case.
“Monitoring is important because when you see someone at one point in the disease you don’t necessarily know [its] trajectory,” he went on to say.
When asked if relapse is inevitable, Dr. Sather said, “Unfortunately, we don’t have proven effective disease treatment, so the name of the game is ID’ing patients that need to be in the hospital versus those who can have home care.” However, he stated that there seems to be reports of patients feeling grateful after being monitored closely and even said that among medical groups, there appears to be a consensus that telemedicine will continue to be an important part of healthcare moving forward.
While reflecting on the decision to include SuperCare Health in this collaboration Dr. Sather was asked if he would partner with SuperCare Health in the future on other programs, and he did not hesitate to say he “absolutely would.” He confidently responded, “This has been a great demonstration of SuperCare Health’s creativity, agility, and dedication to patient partnership.”
Mr. Ramos also showed an interest in partnering with SuperCare Health on future programs. He said he was meeting with SuperCare Health every day and felt this relationship made the process significantly easier. “To get this kind of commitment in return is nice,” he said.
He also appreciated that whenever his team communicated with SuperCare Health, they were able to access channels and were able to get prompt responses.
SuperCare Health is proud of its ability to swiftly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with Optum to create this respiratory COVID-19 Telemonitoring Program.
SuperCare desires to continue to develop and deploy impactful clinical programs that allow patients to recover in the comfort of their homes. This is a big win for patients and the healthcare community as a whole. If working with an innovative healthcare provider with a consistent track record of developing proven cost-saving care models is something you value, we highly encourage you to consider contacting SuperCare.
We are still living in a time with plenty of uncertainty and this can feed our fears and anxieties about the future. But the telemonitoring program offers a proven method for patients to manage those concerns and their health. “As parts of our communities begin to reopen their doors, we want to assure everyone that SuperCare stands ready to provide the highest level of support for those courageously managing their respiratory symptoms,” said Dahl. SuperCare Health is here and ready to assist with these new methods to allow COVID-19 patients to recover from the comfort of their homes.
Although there is still plenty to learn, we have made great strides and know we can overcome this together.
SuperCare Health is a comprehensive high-touch, high-tech, post-acute health care organization that manages chronic care patients and provides a broad range of therapies including ventilation, oxygen, CPAP/BiPAP, medication optimization, and airway clearance and mobilization. Utilizing cutting-edge mobile technologies combined with quality clinical services, SuperCare Health has proven cost savings that reduce hospital readmissions and offer shared savings for payors.
Article co-authored by Jessica Reincke.