Cost comparison between home telemonitoring and usual care of older adults: A randomized trial (Tele-ERA)

Benjavan Upatising, Douglas L. Wood, Walter K. Kremers, Sharon L. Christ, Yuehwern Yih, Gregory J. Hanson, Paul Y. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: From 1992 to 2008, older adults in the United States incurred more healthcare expense per capita than any other age group. Home telemonitoring has emerged as a potential solution to reduce these costs, but evidence is mixed. The primary aim of the study was to evaluate whether the mean difference in total direct medical cost consequence between older adults receiving additional home telemonitoring care (TELE) (n=102) and those receiving usual medical care (UC) (n=103) were significant. Inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, decedents, survivors, and 30-day readmission costs were evaluated as secondary aim. Materials and Methods: Multivariate generalized linear models (GLMs) and parametric bootstrapping method were used to model cost and to determine significance of the cost differences. We also compared the differences in arithmetic mean costs. Results: From the conditional GLMs, the estimated mean cost differences (TELE versus UC) for total, inpatient, outpatient, and ED were -$9,537 (p=0.068), -$8,482 (p =0.098), -$1,160 (p=0.177), and $106 (p=0.619), respectively. Mean postenrollment cost was 11% lower than the prior year for TELE versus 22% higher for UC. The ratio of mean cost for decedents to survivors was 2.1:1 (TELE) versus 12.7:1 (UC). Conclusions: There were no significant differences in the mean total cost between the two treatment groups. The TELE group had less variability in cost of care, lower decedents to survivors cost ratio, and lower total 30-day readmission cost than the UC group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • 30-day readmission
  • Cost comparison
  • home telemonitoring
  • older adult
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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