5 Reasons to Shift to In-Home Cognitive Testing

The COVID-19 pandemic changed healthcare not just in terms of wreaking havoc on our lives but also in how we receive care. Even as stay-at-home rules relax, people–especially the elderly and those at-risk–are still concerned about leaving their own homes, let alone visiting their physicians.

An unprecedented rise in telehealth resulted, and it appears that it is here to stay. And payers have taken note. Large and small payers are building their in-home digital testing capabilities for preventative care. Savonix supports this shift by bringing cognitive tests to patients in the safety of their own homes.

Reasons to Shift to In-Home Cognitive Screening with Savonix

1. A 21st Century Cognitive Tool That is Accessible, Accurate, Inexpensive

Even before the rise of telehealth and in-home care, Savonix has been a leader in this sector for several years, providing a platform for physicians to connect with patients and to test their cognitive health remotely.

With Savonix Mobile, patients can take charge of their brain health. They have the ease of administering their own cognitive test remotely, the comfort of knowing about their brain wellness, and are empowered to take action if there is cognitive decline.

Our tests are easy-to-use and run on any mobile device. They are also reliable and test brain function across more than 13 cognitive domains including executive function, memory, and attention.

Savonix cognitive assessments take up to 30 minutes to complete compared to their counterparts. Standard pen and paper tests can take several hours, and MMSE and MoCA tests need 45 minutes for administration. All three require a clinician or in-office visit, whereas Savonix does not.

Upon completion of the Savonix assessment, a personal summary report is immediately delivered to both patient and provider allowing target care, support, and comorbidity management.

2. Increase Reimbursement Payments

In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) deployed HCC51 Dementia with Complications and HCC52 Dementia without Complications, which provide opportunities to significantly increase risk adjustment reimbursement payments.

Fifteen to 25 percent of adults age 65 and older suffer from some form of dementia, and about 80 percent of patients are undiagnosed in primary care. With the convenience and in-home cognitive screening capabilities of Savonix Mobile, the entire Medicare Advantage enrollee population can be assessed for cognitive risk, and capitation payments significantly increased.

The 65 and older population is projected to grow from 56 million in 2020 to 88 million by 2050, and those aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia are projected to reach 13.8 million by 2050. If you consider that Medicare Advantage plans are eligible to receive up to an additional $5,000 per member per year for every patient diagnosed with dementia, revenue could significantly increase over time for payers.

3. Reduce the Costs of Care

Hidden cognitive impairment can be dangerous for patients and expensive for plans.

For instance:

  • About 50 percent of all Medicare Advantage members with cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment fail to adhere to their medication regimen.
  • Cognitively impaired Medicare Advantage members with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) are at twice the risk of rehabilitation program failure.
  • Cognitively impaired Medicare Advantage members with diabetes are almost 30 percent less likely to follow exercise regimens and almost 40 percent less likely to stick to the recommended diet.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) could also potentially lead to dementia, which is an expensive disease. With our in-home cognitive screening tool, costs of care can be lowered by identifying cognitive impairment early before symptoms appear and delivering interventions when needed.

4. Improve Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction

Timely access to cognitive care can be challenging for elders. Scheduling an appointment with a neuropsychologist to complete cognitive tests can often take a few months, and it is not uncommon for diagnoses to take as many as six months. Additionally, they require an in-office visit.

Bypassing neuropsychologists and going directly to primary care providers (PCPs) could speed up the cognitive screening process. But PCPs need to move to a 21st-century cognitive tool. As many as two-thirds of people with dementia may be misdiagnosed by primary care providers.

Savonix helps providers deliver better outcomes and increases patient satisfaction. With Savonix Mobile, MCI can be detected 93 percent of the time. We also make it easy for providers to order tests for their patients to take remotely, and once completed, both parties will receive a personal summary report. And if cognitive decline comes to light, providers can create a personalized care plan to help patients with their next steps. All these are done remotely and safely through mobile devices with no physical contact; the patient and provider can decide if further consultation is required and if it should occur via telehealth or in-office.

5. Patients Want to Know

According to AARP surveys, 87 percent of adults aged 50+ rank cognitive decline as one of their top three concerns. And even though CMS requires cognitive tests at annual wellness visits, 84 percent of Medicare Advantage members have not received one. Savonix can give patients what they want.

Studies have shown that:

  • 44 percent of MCI is reversible. Reversible causes of cognitive dysfunction include side effects of medication, comorbidities, hearing loss, depression, and lifestyle factors.
  • 40 percent of dementia cases can be prevented or decelerated if lifestyle changes are made such as getting enough sleep, exercise, social interaction, and incorporating a healthy diet.

By screening for cognitive decline early and often, providers can intervene if symptoms come to light.

Both patient and provider receive a personal summary report that includes results from our lifestyle questionnaire (e.g. smoking, diet) that shows patients how their daily behavior relates to brain health.

The Bottomline

Savonix is onboard with the shift to in-home preventative care especially when it comes to cognitive screening. And, we make it easy and cost-effective too. While many preventative care kits (e.g. for diabetes patients) need to be mailed, integrating in-home cognitive screening like Savonix into care kits don’t require anything other than a mobile device.

Payers who are looking to implement an accurate, non-invasive, inexpensive, and accessible cognitive screening tool, need not look further. It is time we move to the 21st century with Savonix that is able to detect mild cognitive impairment 93 percent of the time in less than 30 minutes, accessible remotely, and able to reach large populations.

For more information on in-home cognitive screening with Savonix, please click here or contact us.


References

Findings from AARP’s 2012 Member Opinion Survey. (2012). AARP. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/surveys_statistics/general/2013/Findings-from-AARP-2012-Member-Opinion-Survey-AARP.pdf

Mobile Fact Sheet. (2019, June 12). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/

2020 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures Report. (2020). Alzheimer’s Association. Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures.pdf

Barrett ML, Wier LM, Jiang HJ, Steiner CA. (2006). All-Cause Readmissions by Payer and Age, 2009–2013: Statistical Brief #199. In: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US), Rockville (MD). https://europepmc.org/article/med/26866240

Gao, Q., Gwee, X., Feng, L., Nyunt, M. S. Z., Feng, L., Collinson, S. L., … & Yap, K. B. (2018). Mild Cognitive Impairment Reversion and Progression: Rates and Predictors in Community-Living Older Persons in the Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Studies Cohort. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra8, 226-237.

Bernstein, A., Rogers, K.M., Possin, K.L. et al. (2019). Dementia assessment and management in primary care settings: a survey of current provider practices in the United States. BMC Health Serv Res 19, 919. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4603-2

Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne, C., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Cooper, C., Costafreda, S. G., Dias, A., Fox, N., Gitlin, L. N., Howard, R., Kales, H. C., Kivimäki, M., Larson, E. B., Ogunniyi, A., Orgeta, V., … Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet (London, England), 396(10248), 413–446. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6