Virtual GI care could save $10K per patient, study finds

A study conducted by digestive healthcare company Oshi Health in partnership with a national health plan found that virtual multidisciplinary care for gastrointestinal disorders improves patient outcomes and saves a total of $10,000 per patient over a six month period. 

The study enrolled 332 patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, functional gastrointestinal disorders and undiagnosed patients with GI symptoms, according to a Jan. 31 press release sent to Becker's

Eighty percent of enrolled patients remained active in the study for its nine-month duration, receiving regular virtual care from gastroenterologists, advanced practice providers, GI dietitians, GI psychologists and health coaches. Enrolled patients also had access to a 24/7 physician messaging platform. 

Ninety-eight percent of patients reported satisfaction with the virtual care program, while 89 percent reported an improved quality of life and 92 percent reported GI symptom improvement. 

Patients enrolled also reported missing 1.3 fewer days of work due to GI symptoms. They also saw a 64 percent reduction in GI-related emergency room visits. 

The study compared healthcare costs between patients enrolled in the program and a propensity-matched control group, finding an overall healthcare cost reduction of $10,292 per patient after six months in the program.

"Forward-thinking GI practices know that the future of GI care will be hybrid collaboration between gastroenterologists and virtual care providers to leverage platforms like Oshi Health to prove value and enhance care for patients," John Allen, MD, past president of the American Gastroenterological Association, a medical adviser to Oshi Health and a co-author of the study, said in the release. 

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