Evaluating the cost of one telehealth application connecting an acute and long-term care setting

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Gerontol Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of gerontological nursing

PubMed ID



This article describes a study of the costs of a pilot telemedicine chronic wound consultation clinic. Cost minimization analysis is the technique used to examine the costs of the clinic. The components of cost analysis include the fixed costs of personnel and equipment and the indirect costs of circuit and line charges. Cost avoidance is also examined. Cost avoidance evaluates what costs were avoided by the use of the telemedicine clinic. Additionally, the cost perspectives of the consulting agency, the referring agency, and the patient are examined. The average cost of a chronic wound consultation was $136.16 (acute care perspective). Costs of a traditional face-to-face consultation, if the residents were transported to the acute care facility would be $246.28. Fifteen telehealth consultations per month were used to determine per consultation costs for line charges and depreciation/maintenance costs. In this pilot study, a cost savings was realized and patients benefited. Increased volume will help to offset the cost of the equipment depreciation and maintenance and make telehealth chronic wound consultations more cost effective.


Aged, Chronic Disease, Cost Savings, Costs and Cost Analysis, Geriatric Nursing/economics, Humans, Iowa, Long-Term Care, Nursing Homes, Remote Consultation/economics, Skin Ulcer/economics/nursing

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of gerontological nursing, 27:1 (2001) pp.34-39.

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