Association of Remote Patient Monitoring with Mortality and Healthcare Utilization in Hypertensive Patients: a Medicare Claims-Based Study

J Gen Intern Med. 2023 Nov 16. doi: 10.1007/s11606-023-08511-x. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Hypertension management is complex in older adults. Recent advances in remote patient monitoring (RPM) have warranted evaluation of RPM use and patient outcomes.

Objective: To study associations of RPM use with mortality and healthcare utilization measures of hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) utilization, and outpatient visits.

Design: A retrospective cohort study.

Patients: Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years with an outpatient hypertension diagnosis between July 2018 and September 2020. The first date of RPM use with a corresponding hypertension diagnosis was recorded (index date). RPM non-users were documented from those with an outpatient hypertension diagnosis; a random visit was selected as the index date. Six months prior continuous enrollment was required.

Main measures: Outcomes studied within 180 days of index date included (i) all-cause mortality, (ii) any hospitalization, (iii) cardiovascular-related hospitalization, (iv) non-cardiovascular-related hospitalization, (v) any ED, (vi) cardiovascular-related ED, (vii) non-cardiovascular-related ED, (viii) any outpatient, (ix) cardiovascular-related outpatient, and (x) non-cardiovascular-related outpatient. Patient demographics and clinical variables were collected from baseline and index date. Propensity score matching (1:4) and Cox regression were performed. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.

Key results: The matched sample had 16,339 and 63,333 users and non-users, respectively. Cumulative incidences of mortality outcome were 2.9% (RPM) and 4.3% (non-RPM), with a HR (95% CI) of 0.66 (0.60-0.74). RPM users had lower hazards of any [0.78 (0.75-0.82)], cardiovascular-related [0.79 (0.73-0.87)], and non-cardiovascular-related [0.79 (0.75-0.83)] hospitalizations. No significant association was observed between RPM use and the three ED measures. RPM users had higher hazards of any [1.10 (1.08-1.11)] and cardiovascular-related outpatient visits [2.17 (2.13-2.19)], while a slightly lower hazard of non-cardiovascular-related outpatient visits [0.94 (0.93-0.96)].

Conclusions: RPM use was associated with substantial reductions in hazards of mortality and hospitalization outcomes with an increase in cardiovascular-related outpatient visits.

Keywords: healthcare utilization.; hypertension; medicare; mortality; remote patient monitoring.