Anthem Blue Cross Partners with VRI to Provide Wireless Remote Monitoring to Help California Members with Congestive Heart Failure

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Anthem Blue Cross has partnered with VRI to launch an innovative wireless remote monitoring program to help members with congestive heart failure (CHF) to better monitor and manage this potentially fatal condition.

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Anthem Blue Cross and VRI today announced the launch of an innovative wireless remote monitoring program to help members with congestive heart failure (CHF) to better monitor and manage this potentially fatal condition.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than five million Americans have CHF. Increasing prevalence, hospitalizations, and deaths have made CHF a major chronic condition in the United States, with annual costs of nearly $40 billion.

This innovative program, provided through VRI, utilizes wireless remote monitoring technology to provide real-time information to help those with CHF better manage their conditions and potentially prevent the need to return to the hospital. Anthem and VRI are undertaking this pilot program with members in California who have been diagnosed with CHF.

"We are passionate about developing state-of-the-art solutions for our members to help them better manage their health and to improve communication between them and their health care provider that can lead to greater coordination of care," said Dr. Kurt Tamaru, Medical Director with Anthem Blue Cross. "This is an exciting program as it combines wireless remote technology with clinically driven interventions to help deliver the right care at the right time and in a more effective and efficient way for our members."

“We are excited to team with an innovative plan like Anthem Blue Cross to provide a range of low cost services that ensure a scaleable deployment of telemonitoring technologies. VRI has developed a comprehensive plan to engage the members including, enrollment, professional installation, and monitoring of the data, that has enabled our programs to achieve a 92% adherence rate. This enhanced self management has been proven to reduce hospitalizations and readmissions.” said Andy Schoonover, CEO of VRI.

Participants in the program who have a history of emergency room visits and hospitalizations will receive a wireless weight scale and blood pressure cuff to help them track their weight and blood pressure daily. Changes in weight and blood pressure are two key indicators of a potential change in their condition that may signal a more serious problem. VRI will alert physicians of California PPO members when their patients gain weight that may be caused by fluid retention, which develops prior to patients becoming symptomatic. Identifying these individuals and enabling their doctors to treat their fluid retention in a timely manner, before shortness of breath develops, can prevent emergency room visits and subsequent acute hospital admissions.

The data collected from the monitoring devices is connected to an existing phone line and, using Bluetooth® technology, is automatically populated to VRI’s HIPAA compliant, secure web portal that can be accessed by the member, physician, care giver, and case manager. If irregularities in numbers occur the member is contacted for the most appropriate action. Utilizing the latest home-monitoring technology, this program promotes better coordination and quality of care and earlier intervention to help get CHF under control.

About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, in Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit you YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About VRI

VRI is a healthcare services company with over 20 years of experience and is one of the largest providers of telemonitoring, medication adherence and medical alert systems in the country. Located in Dayton, Ohio, VRI's services enable seniors, the chronically ill, and those with disabilities to maintain their independence and avoid long term care facilities and hospitalization. The company's service portfolio includes telehealth and vitals monitoring, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), and electronic medication reminder devices. The company currently monitors approximately 60,000 active clients across the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.monitoringcare.com.

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Jennifer McElroy
VRI
800-860-4230 ext. 12137
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