Americans will continue to hear more about self-care for prevention and management of chronic illness as health care reform dominates our media. The National Committee for Quality Assurance is a not-for-profit organization that provides accreditation and certification to U.S. health plans to ensure that they are following standards to improve health care quality http://www.ncqa.org/. Self-care management tools are an important component of new health care delivery models offered by Accountable Care Organizations. These organizations will benefit financially from shared savings to Medicare by having healthy patients who will not burden our acute hospital services. In the same manner, they will be held financially accountable to losses that affect Medicare. The success of these organizations is based on improved coordination and communication between patients and their medical providers.
Currently, Medicare patients have five or more chronic conditions. 75% of healthcare expenditures are for chronic care. Patients are going to be required to take an active role in managing their chronic illnesses. Many European countries have successfully implemented telehealth programs. Over the past two decades Denmark has been a leader in providing care at a distance to its citizens. In the U.S., the Veterans Administration has the most robust and well-received telehealth program currently available to address the needs of veterans, especially those located in rural areas. This has reduced travel time and emergency visits to medical facilities as well as loss of time from work. Monitoring of vital signs, blood pressure readings, glucose monitoring, pulse rate, and haemodialysis can all be conducted at home with results being delivered via text, email, videoconferencing and phone to medical personnel for review. An ePatch offers a revolutionary approach to obtain body measurements wirelessly. In-home rehabilitation therapy devices provide remote monitoring for therapists to evaluate progress and customize a home therapy program accordingly. Emerging technologies like mobile health apps will also play a major role as telehealth programs continue to rollout.
You will see more companies providing diagnostic services to individuals for preventative health. This helps expedite the identification of areas of concern before a health crisis occurs. WellnessFX is one of these companies that are giving individuals the tools to help manage and control their own health with consultations from medical professionals. http://www.wellnessfx.com/
You should consider embracing self-care in 2012 because the best person to take care of you is YOU!