Gateway Medical Associates closes care gaps and improves patient outcomes with IRIS diabetic retinal exam telemedicine program

Aug. 22, 2018

Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) announced the physician-owned medical practice Gateway Medical Associates has implemented the IRIS diabetic retinopathy telemedicine solution to administer diabetic retinopathy exams (DREs) to 4,810 patients in the first year, identifying 678 (14%) with diabetic retinopathy who otherwise would have gone undiagnosed. Through its adoption of this disruptive technology, Gateway has increased its patients’ diabetic retinal exam compliance rate to 85% from 37% in just one year.

These results enabled Gateway to achieve Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) compliance and quality outcomes that provide the best level of patient care and increased revenue from quality incentives. HEDIS is a tool used by more than 90% of America’s health plans to evaluate performance on process and outcomes in both clinical care and members’ care experience. Elevating HEDIS scores reflects a healthier population and results in reduced healthcare costs and increased health plan rankings and revenue.

Gateway Medical Associates is a large physician-owned practice based in Pennsylvania that consists of both physicians and allied health providers across nine different sites with a population of more than 7,000 patients with diabetes. Dedicated to providing excellent care for its patients, Gateway’s leadership realized in early 2016 that there was a serious need to improve compliance in the practice’s diabetic retinal exam quality program.

Partnering with IRIS, Gateway deployed the IRIS retinal telemedicine platform in eight clinics in October 2016. The IRIS DRE program is fully integrated into the Gateway EHR, which provides the diagnosis for the patient’s primary care provider, in addition to providing the opportunity for clinic staff to identify patients who have not received their annual exam.

Since implementation, Gateway has examined more than 4,800 unique patients, diagnosing 25% with some form of ocular pathology. More than 14% of patients have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, and 203 patients have been protected from the advanced stages of sight-threatening disease. Those patients have been referred to ophthalmologists and retinal specialists based on level of severity, providing a referral stream that did not previously exist for those practices. In what Gateway and IRIS are calling the “halo effect,” compliance with the program is increasing across the board as it moves forward. In these cases, it is very likely that patients would never have known to seek treatment were it not for the primary care DRE program.

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