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PACE-CNY VP Button discusses new telehealth service

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The vice president of Loretto’s PACE-CNY program says it’s contracting with a Poughkeepsie firm to offer participants round-the-clock access to a doctor or nurse through a telehealth program.

The program is from a company called ImagineMIC, says Stephanie Button, VP of PACE-CNY.

“I think we recognized that, as a community-based, long-term care program, having some additional resources for participants in their homes to allow us to [provide another method of] care for people while they’re in their homes,” says Button.

PACE-CNY is short for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly in Central New York.

ImagineMIC can provide the services that a PACE program traditionally delivers at its day centers, which offer seniors primary care and therapy services, says Button, who spoke with BJNN on Aug. 16.

The company’s call center is also located in Poughkeepsie, so participants can use iPad devices for face-to-face interactions with a physician, Button noted.

As of July 15, Loretto had 19 PACE-CNY participants enrolled in the ImagineMIC program and using the equipment in their homes, with 17 more signed up to begin, Loretto said in an Aug. 12 news release.

Participants pay “no additional fee” for the use of this service.

“It’s a per-participant, per month fee,” says Button. “We pay a monthly fee for each participant that is taking advantage of the service.” She declined to provide a specific dollar amount.

PACE-CNY learned of the program through another downstate PACE program. ImagineMIC was searching for another PACE program for which it could provide the service.

“So we engaged in conversation and are now up and running,” says Button.

She notes that the program also gives family, friends, and caregivers “peace of mind and minimizes” hospital and emergency-room visits, as some health issues can be identified and treated through the telehealth system.

How it works

Individuals are equipped with an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved disposable patch, which is placed on their chest and streams real-time data to a monitoring intervention center, a location staffed with physicians and nurses.

The patch monitors EKG (electrocardiogram), respiratory rate, oxygen levels, skin temperature, heart rate, and it can also detect falls.

The network analyzes the data received in real-time to provide predictive insight to help clinicians develop a treatment plan. If immediate attention is necessary when participants are not at a PACE Center, they have mobile access to a virtual audio/visual consultation with a doctor or nurse using either an iPhone, iPad or Android device.

About PACE-CNY, Loretto

PACE-CNY offers home care and community services, activities at center locations, and transportation to PACE-CNY activities, outside doctor appointments and other activities.

PACE-CNY also works with Medicaid’s consumer directed personal assistance program (CDPAP), which allows consumers to recruit, hire, train, supervise, terminate and direct their own home-care workers (including family, friends or neighbors).

The nonprofit Loretto is a health-care organization providing services for older adults throughout Central New York. The organization serves close to 10,000 individuals each year through 19 locations in Onondaga and Cayuga counties.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

Photo credit: PACE-CNY website