News Feature | January 28, 2015

$1 Million Awarded To Develop NY's First Telehealth Program For Children With Medical Complexity

Julia Ernst

By Julia Ernst, contributing writer

CMS Increases Telemedicine Reimbursement

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children will roll out the Interactive Voice Response Program from AMC Health.

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in New York has been awarded a grant worth over $900,000 to implement a remote patient monitoring program to improve the care of children who receive health services at home. The grant will enable St. Mary’s to initiate an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) program.

AMC Health, a company that offers technological solutions for patient management, supports the program. St. Mary’s will deploy a pilot program that includes 500 patients identified as most at risk for admission or readmission to hospitals and other institutional settings. In addition to traditional nursing and rehabilitation home care visits, caregivers will receive regular automated calls from an IVR system. Caregivers will be asked about the child’s medication adherence, falls, emergency room visits, major medical events, and other changes in condition.

The responses to the brief calls, which last about two to three minutes, automatically generate reports. Responses that require immediate outreach by the telehealth nurse manager or other home care staff are flagged in the system. The calls are expected to enhance communication and improve the collection of patient information, enabling the identification of potential areas of risk and allowing the case manager to step in with appropriate and preventive interventions.

The three-fold goal of this initiative is reducing avoidable hospitalizations, increasing medication adherence, and increasing overall patient/family satisfaction. The IVR program is also expected to lead to increased communication among clinicians, accelerated medical interventions, and improved organizational efficiencies.

AMC Health provides customizable, scalable telehealth solutions for groups that serve at-risk populations, including hospitals, health plans, clinical trials, and more. The company offers biometric monitoring, interactive voice response, medication monitoring, video visits, personal emergency response services, and clinical telecare management solutions.

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children is a health system that focuses on post-acute care, providing intensive rehabilitation, specialized care, and education to children with special needs and life-limiting conditions. St. Mary’s is the largest provider of long-term home healthcare for children in New York State.

SOURCE: St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children