Verizon: Health IT can enhance patient care, reduce costs

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has developed a 10-point list of ways health care providers can leverage IT to "improve the provision of care and enhance the patient experience and outcome" without increasing costs.

"This is an unprecedented time for transition in the health care ecosystem through the use of technology. Advances in telemedicine, wireless networks, virtual care solutions, information exchanges and cloud computing are empowering health care providers to improve their business operations while giving them more time to provide quality care," Dr. Peter Tippett, chief medical officer and vice president of Verizon Connected Healthcare said in a news release.

Telemedicine, the carrier emphasized, can provide remote care for an aging population and deliver service to previously unserved markets. The cost savings come from reducing preventable hospitalizations. Mobile health care takes it a step further because "health care providers now can leverage many applications to help patients better manage chronic disease, weight loss and other conditions, and medication reminders and heart rate monitors," the news release said.

Properly used, health IT can also provide a regimen of preventive care through education that helps modify unhealthy behaviors, Verizon said.

"For example, smart apps can help patients manage their health and well-being in real time, providing alerts to take medications, exercise or follow a recommended diet," the release said.

On the financial side, Verizon said its fraud management solution allows health care providers to identify fraudulent claims before they're paid. Medicare fraud alone is estimated to cost the government $70 billion a year, the carrier said.

Finally, there's the ubiquitous cloud, which, Verizon said, will play an integral role in health care.

"Well-established cloud service providers can help health care businesses reduce operational costs and improve sharing of patient electronic health records" because they are "able to offer cloud-based services for the health care industry to help monitor, analyze and react to real-time patient information," Verizon concluded in the news release.

For more:
- see the news release

Related articles:
Verizon, Zipit pursue healthcare VoIP
Analysys Mason: M-health could benefit – but when will we be able to trust it?
Report: Healthcare cloud spending to hit $5.4 billion