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Adherence to the Use of Home Telehealth Technologies and Emergency Room Visits in Veterans with Heart Failure.

Guzman-Clark J, Wakefield BJ, Farmer MM, Yefimova M, Viernes B, Lee ML, Hahn TJ. Adherence to the Use of Home Telehealth Technologies and Emergency Room Visits in Veterans with Heart Failure. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2021 Sep 1; 27(9):1003-1010.

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Prior studies have posited poor patient adherence to remote patient monitoring as the reason for observed lack of benefits. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between average adherence to the daily use of home telehealth (HT) and emergency room (ER) visits in Veterans with heart failure. This was a retrospective study using administrative data of Veterans with heart failure enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) HT Program in the first half of 2014. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression was used to determine which predictors affect the probability of having an ER visit and the number of ER visits. The final sample size was 3,449 with most being white and male. There were fewer ER visits after HT enrollment (mean?±?standard deviation of 1.85?±?2.8) compared with the year before (2.2?±?3.4). Patient adherence was not significantly associated with ER visits. Age and being from a racial minority group (not white or black) and belonging to a large HT program were associated with having an ER visit. Being in poorer health was associated with higher expected count of ER visits. Subgroups of patients (e.g., with depression, sicker, or from a racial minority group) may benefit from added interventions to decrease ER use. This study found that adherence was not associated with ER visits. Reasons other than adherence should be considered when looking at ER use in patients with heart failure enrolled in remote patient monitoring programs.

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