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People Inc. Certified Home Health Agency Earns Home Care Association of New York State Triple Aim Quality and Innovation Award

August 29, 2019: The Home Care Association (HCA) of New York State presented awards to exceptional individuals and programs, recognizing their excellence and expertise in the home care and hospice fields across New York State at a recent conference. 

People, Home Health Services-Certified, Inc., an affiliate of People Inc. Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA), was recently recognized with the Triple Aim Quality and Innovation Award for its team efforts to integrate telemedicine technology into community-based care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Medicaid is the primary source of health coverage for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This sub-population tends to use health care at a significantly higher rate. Instead of a person being sent directly to the emergency room or urgent care (ER/UC), the new system is able to quickly and efficiently provide quality services using best practices. 

Inspired by the state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, People, Home Health Services–Certified, Inc. has deployed a telemedicine technology pilot program into each of its group homes for the past three years. The project currently has approximately 950 individuals participating, of which 436 are Medicaid patients.

Under this program, an RN is deployed for an assessment in response to an injury or illness call. The RN uses the telemedicine technology to remotely connect with a physician, who performs a video assessment of the person. Based on this assessment, the CHHA RN can perform a cardiac, dermatological, EKG and other state-of-the-art assessments. The onsite RN can then implement new orders such as point-of-care testing, basic lab work with bedside results within minutes, splinting or IV therapy, among others. Radiology and imaging services can also be done on site.

ER visits have subsequently dropped from 120 to 80 per month, with UC visits now executed in the home whenever possible.

Based on its outcomes, People Inc. believes telemedicine services can reduce the number of ER/UC visits by 25 percent, representing a potential annual cost savings of $199,009, even when program costs are factored. These are meaningful outcomes, which directly mirror the goals of state efforts to curb higher-cost service utilization through DSRIP and other initiatives.

The Triple Aim demands that home care and other providers work to: improve patients’ experiences of care (including satisfaction); address the health of populations; and reduce per-capita costs in the health care system. This HCA award recognizes those who have implemented a concrete, innovative clinical model, workforce supports, patient or staff education program, or other initiative with demonstrated outcomes in terms of client satisfaction, population health improvement and cost reduction or avoidance.

“HCA’s award recipients are not only exemplary individuals, but each person has contributed to the home care and hospice fields in distinct ways,” said HCA President and CEO Al Cardillo. “They’ve gone to extraordinary lengths helping a particular patient on a particular day. They’ve improved a patient’s overall experience of care, and they’ve influenced broader changes in the very way that home care and hospice are delivered.”

“We tested a hypothesis to see if employing telemedicine services in our group homes would reduce the number of ER/UC visits,” remarked Bonnie Sloma, People Inc. Senior Vice President. “We did reduce the number of visits, but more importantly, our residents reported a 95 percent satisfaction rate, which is amazing for a new program.”

People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 10,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, special needs, their families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. With nearly 4,000 employees, People Inc. is one of the region’s largest employers. To learn more, visit people-inc.org, follow People Inc. on Facebook or Twitter @PeopleIncNews.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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