Telehealth significantly reduces depressive symptoms, report shows
Nov. 2, 2022 – MediTelecare™, the nation’s leading provider of behavioral telehealth and tele-technology services to residents of post-acute and long-term care facilities, today announced the results of a clinical report, the internally generated behavioral health MediReport. The results show a significant reduction in depressive symptom severity in 94 percent of patients with moderately severe to severe depression.
Over a one-year period from Q3 2021 to Q2 2022, MediTelecare™ clinicians evaluated and treated patients in over 400 skilled nursing and long-term care facilities through behavioral telehealth clinician encounters. A cohort of 509 patients with moderate to severe depressive symptoms was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). As a result, MediTelecare™ achieved positive improvements in this patient group across key clinical outcomes as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and MediTelecare™ facility partners.
“Behavioral health in older adults has often been stigmatized. Depression should not be considered a normal part of aging, and telehealth has been a disruptive force when effectively treating depressive symptoms,” said Dr. Jessica Badichek. PharmD, BCGP, Chief Informatics & Compliance Officer, MediTelecare™. “These results indicate that telehealth allows greater access to care and can improve clinical outcomes for patients with depressive symptoms.”
In the third calendar quarter of 2021, patients scored between 10-27, signifying moderate to severe depressive symptoms. Throughout the treatment period from Q3 2021 to Q2 2022, patients were re-assessed at least once more. Notably, 428 out of 509 (84%) of those with moderate to severe depressive symptoms experienced a reduction in symptoms according to their repeat PHQ-9 assessment. The average reduction in PHQ-9 scores was 7 points, with 80% of patients having significant improvement, with a score of 9 or less indicating only minimal to mild symptoms. Further, 126 out of 134 (94%) of those with the highest scores for depressive symptoms classified as moderately severe to severe depression had a reduction in depressive symptom severity. With telehealth adoption on the rise, MediTelecare™ has shown that this approach effectively creates more positive health outcomes among patients with depression.
Additionally, 80% of facilities with patients being treated using MediTelecare’s™ telehealth services saw a decline in overall antipsychotic use and a 45% reduction in patients experiencing a fall while on an antipsychotic medication. Antipsychotic use is a key measurement in CMS quality measures. The overuse of antipsychotics in elderly populations in skilled nursing facilities has long been an area of focus and concern for CMS and skilled nursing facility operators. Reducing the use of these medications can significantly decrease serious health risks for elderly patients.
“These report results are a powerful indicator of the significant impact telehealth has on patients struggling with behavioral and mental health,” said Ed Mercadante, CEO, MediTelecare™. “Our findings demonstrate that MediTelecare’s™ behavioral telehealth services are a powerful tool in clinicians’ efforts to alleviate depressive symptoms, achieve better clinical outcomes, and improve performance on CMS quality measures.”
To learn how telehealth can achieve positive outcomes among a complex patient population residing in skilled and assisted living centers, click to view the results of the MediReport.
MediTelecare™, an industry leader in providing technology-enabled behavioral telehealth services to residents of skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, delivers technology devices, a digital hub, and APP software products and services. Including a suite of virtual tools used by its employed psychology and psychiatry providers together with facility staff for 24×7 virtual referral, scheduling, and clinical cloud interoperability. Proprietary digital clinical assessment and reporting analytics, MediReview™, and MediReport™, help staff identify and provide consistent care follow-up. MediTelecare™ services hundreds of facilities with over 45,000 residents, providing over 300,000 patient encounters and behavioral integration services annually. Learn more at: https://www.meditelecare.com.