Evaluating the Role of Tele-Emergency Care in Healthcare Costs and Long-Term Outcomes for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries with Sepsis
Emergency department-based telemedicine (tele-ED) consultation between a rural provider and a board-certified emergency physician may deliver the expertise to reduce care delays and improve outcomes of sepsis patients while avoiding unnecessary costs. High-quality early sepsis care has been associated with decreased organ failure, shorter ICU and hospital length-of-stay, and improved survival. The objective of the project is to measure the effect of tele-ED consultation in reducing healthcare costs and improving long-term outcomes in sepsis patients in rural EDs compared to control patients who are not treated with tele-ED. This project has important health policy implications for rural populations in that it will identify whether and to what degree early treatment with tele-ED leads to enhanced outcomes and cost savings.