DAYTON, Ohio and NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- VRI, a leading provider of in-home health monitoring systems, and SeniorBridge, a national health management provider, today announced a service that combines remote vital sign monitoring with face-to-face oversight from professional geriatric care managers. The program is designed to reduce hospitalizations of chronically ill seniors by identifying warnings signs early and identifying solutions to address medical, functional and psychosocial needs.
"The VRI-enabled SeniorBridge TeleCare Management program is our latest effort to address the changing needs of health plans, health professionals and seniors in light of recently passed healthcare reform," said Eric C. Rackow, MD, President and CEO of SeniorBridge and immediate past president of NYU Hospital. "By empowering health professionals with accurate vital information necessary to make timely care decisions, we expect to build on our success in improving health outcomes while reducing cost of care."
SeniorBridge's unique care management model reduces hospitalizations by more than 80 percent(i) and emergency room admissions by more than 90 percent(ii) as compared to Medicare beneficiaries. SeniorBridge is also involved in equipping doctors with resources to support their care of seniors with complicated chronic conditions and recently released a new eBook titled "Managing Complex Chronic Care in the Community" which can be found at seniorbridge.com/files/SeniorBridgeEbook.pdf.
"We are proud to share our company's ten years of care management experience with our colleagues and partners in the health care industry with the release of SeniorBridge's latest white paper," said Claudia Fine, LCSW, MPHP, Chief Professional Officer at SeniorBridge.
How It Works
SeniorBridge's core care management service in which specially trained nurses and social workers across the country provide ongoing face-to-face assessments and care in the home and 24-7 phone availability, will be supplemented by VRI's offering.
Participating seniors will receive a device that plugs into their home telephone jack which will assess and report their daily vital statistics such as blood pressure and weight. If vital signs are either not received or outside of a normal range defined for them, a specially trained VRI call center representative will contact the senior to obtain additional information then provide a comprehensive update to the SeniorBridge care manager, who will in turn make timely care decisions. By empowering seniors to be involved in their health assessments and providing monthly reports of their vital statistics, the program will also help to improve health literacy.
Unlike traditional telemonitoring programs in which two-thirds of readings that require medical attention are false alarms,(iii) the VRI-enabled SeniorBridge TeleCare Management program frees the team of specially trained nurses and social workers to focus their efforts on patient care, not technical support. Problems such as a patient's spouse stepping on a scale or a patient forgetting to push a button, are addressed before they reach the health professional.
"Over the last twenty years, VRI has been demonstrating that our technology is effective in identifying problems and patterns in patients with complex chronic conditions - an important first step in reducing hospitalizations," said Andy Schoonover, CEO of VRI. "The opportunity to combine our data-collection capabilities with SeniorBridge's proven model of in-home oversight and coordination opens the door to exciting possibilities for seniors who will benefit from expanded options to address their needs as well as health plans who will see reduced cost of overall care."
"We are thrilled to be launching the first-of-its-kind program to combine telehealth with face-to-face care management through a partnership between two recognized industry leaders," continued Schoonover.
The SeniorBridge TeleCare Management program builds on the company's heritage of integrating technology into the care of seniors:
- SeniorBridge's proprietary web-based electronic health record system integrates relevant information from multiple doctors, family members, legal and financial professionals and geriatric care manager assessments of functional and psychosocial status which care managers update and access in real-time via BlackBerries, iPads and other devices.
- SeniorBridge Skype program allows remote family members to participate via video-conferencing in seniors' doctor appointments and to make online social visits in seniors' home with the help of specially trained care managers equipped with wirelessly connected laptops.
About VRI Telemonitoring
VRI is a healthcare services company with over 20 years of experience and is one of the largest providers of telemonitoring, medication adherence and medical alert systems in the country. Located in Dayton, Ohio, VRI's services enable seniors, the chronically ill, and those with disabilities to maintain their independence and avoid long term care facilities and hospitalization. The company's service portfolio includes telehealth and vitals monitoring, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), electronic medication reminder devices. The company currently serves approximately 54,000 active clients across the United States. For more information, please visit www.monitoringcare.com.
SeniorBridge is a leading care management company with a 10-year heritage in helping people cope with the challenges of complex chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The company's 33 offices and national care management network address the total well-being of its clients through a comprehensive process of care assessment, planning, coordination and advocacy. The company is headquartered in New York City and benefits from the support of its advisory board of internationally known experts in geriatrics. To learn more visit www.seniorbridge.com.
(i) Peikes D et al. Effects of care coordination on hospitalizations, quality of care, and health care expenditures among Medicare beneficiaries: 15 randomized trials. JAMA 2009;301:603-18; http://www.seniorbridge.com/files/SB_Rehospitalization_Rate.pdf
(ii) Anderson T et al. High-Cost Medicare Beneficiaries. Congressional Budget Office, May 2005
(iii) VRI. Utilization and Stratification Report. Oct 2010