Commonwealth Primary Care ACO Marks the Launch of HGE Health’s COPD Digital Platform in Arizona

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HGE Health’s digital symptom monitoring platform deployed in Arizona to monitor respiratory symptoms and enable for same-day treatment of worsening symptoms

HGE Health

“Providers who adopt the HGE Care™ platform have realized significant reductions in the time patients have to wait to receive medical care for their COPD. We help offload most of the burden associated with providing immediate medical care from those providers,” Michael J Markus, CEO, HGE Health

Commonwealth Primary Care ACO, LLC (“Commonwealth”) has contracted with HGE Health to deploy the first large-scale remote symptom monitoring platform for respiratory patients in Arizona. The HGE Care™ clinically-validated platform offers enrolled patients a mobile application that they use to submit daily symptom reports to their healthcare provider. Symptom reports that suggest the onset of worsening symptoms are flagged by the HGE Care™, allowing nurses and health coaches staffing HGE Health’s call center to proactively coordinate medical intervention to those patients in need of care. Medical care is typically rendered to COPD patients the same day worsening symptoms are reported, often via telemedicine services that do not require affected patients to leave their homes to protect those most at risk from COVID-19, the spread of which continues to accelerate.

The HGE Care™ platform will be deployed on behalf of Commonwealth as a turnkey solution, eliminating the need for Commonwealth to build the vast infrastructure and hire the personnel required to offer remote symptom monitoring to patients. Clinically-validated algorithms of the HGE Care™ platform identify patients reporting changes in symptoms that may warrant provider review and intervention, and HGE Health’s clinical personnel provide patient triage and make treatment recommendations based on best in class clinical protocols. Commonwealth’s medical personnel, who will ultimately decide how to treat the patients, easily review the symptoms and triage notes, and sign off on any changes to the care plan of action within their existing digital care coordination platform. HGE’s contact center staff are available to patients twelve hours a day, three-hundred-seventy-five days a year, including weekends, after-hours, and holidays, providing broad access to clinical support without a corresponding burden to Commonwealth’s providers, nurses, and office staff.

Medical treatment approved by Commonwealth will be conveyed to the patients through the HGE Care™ mobile application, or via email or telephone call. Telemedicine interventions offer an added layer of protection to patients suffering from COPD, a significant underlying risk factor that makes them particularly susceptible to severe COVID-19 outcomes. Patients requiring urgent care can be instructed to seek in-person treatment by their primary care physician, or at an urgent or emergency care facility, as appropriate. HGE Care and the HGE staff provide clinical and billing documentation in the customer’s systems, allowing Commonwealth to seamlessly submit claims to payors according to its standard billing procedures.

“While considering the adoption of the HGE Care™ platform for our COPD patients we weighed the benefits of improving healthcare services against very few, if any obstacles that stood in our way,” explained Lance Donkerbrook, Commonwealth CEO. “The HGE Care™ platform is readily compatible with our EMR system, providing transparency into the daily conditions of our COPD patients, and documenting all information required for us to continue submitting claims according to our standard procedure. Aside from the added support from HGE Health’s clinical personnel staffing their call center, we can now offer improved patient care without experiencing any additional burdens or disruptions to our workflow. In the end, the decision to subscribe to HGE Care™ made sense.”

Michael J. Markus, CEO of HGE Health, also views HGE Health’s role as a “plug-and-play” service that complements existing healthcare services offered by its customers. “Healthcare providers who adopt the HGE Care™ platform have realized significant reductions in the time patients have to wait to receive medical care for their COPD, and we are able to offload most of the burden associated with providing immediate medical care from those providers,” Markus explained. “Respiratory patients previously had to wait several days or even weeks to get an appointment to see their primary care physician to treat flareups that occur without warning, understandably leading many patients to seek immediate emergency care to obtain relief. Detailed emergency treatment information may not make it back to the patient’s EMR maintained by their primary care physician, resulting in a lack of clarity into the daily progression of the patient’s COPD. Instead, we aim to allow primary care physicians to timely treat the occasional worsening of symptoms that COPD patients experience, and do so without drastic changes to the workflow of those physicians.”

The implementation of HGE Care™ in Arizona continues HGE Health’s westward expansion of respiratory services across the United States from its original deployment in Philadelphia. Other markets with a growing presence of HGE Care™ include Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, and Florida.

About HGE Health
Headquartered in Fort Washington, PA, HGE Health harnesses its deep experience in chronic disease management and digital health in pulmonary disease, telemedicine, and mobile health to develop a clinical services platform that delivers better care faster at a much lower cost for patients, physicians, and payors. Built on clinical protocols developed and supported by 16 years of research, the company’s technology has compiled the longest-running and world’s largest longitudinal data set of COPD symptoms, interventions, and clinical management to help physicians provide care for a geographically and socio-economically diverse COPD and pulmonary patient population.

About Commonwealth Primary Care ACO, LLC
Commonwealth is a federally-chartered accountable care organization that operates in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, Flagstaff and throughout AZ as a participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Commonwealth is primary care based, owned, operated, and governed to provide innovation in care practices for the benefit of the members it serves.

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Christopher Parks
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