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News Roundup: August 19, 2013

New England Consortium to Discuss Home Health Industry Challenges, Strategies

Published by Home Health Care News
Jason Olivia
August 12, 2013

The New England Home Healthcare Consortium (NEHHC) invites home health industry professionals to share and explore best practices at this year’s 2013 Summit held November 3-5 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

The summit will explore innovative strategies being utilized by healthcare organizations while grappling with the impacts of changes taking place in the home health industry nationwide.

Nationally respected experts on home healthcare, aging, and emerging technology will assemble in Mashantucket to equip home health providers to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry environment.

“It is vital for each and every home healthcare leader to be aware of the significant trends facing the home healthcare industry in a way that is solution oriented and practically driven,” said Sandra Sergeant, NEHHC conference chairperson.

A diverse panel of these aforementioned industry experts will address challenges posed by the demands of the Baby Boomer generation, and will also analyze how to grapple with the Affordable Care Act and healthcare in 2014.

Panelists will also touch on modern day digital home healthcare technology and its impact on the industry, as well as discuss and implement effective communication strategies to better connect with more empowered and informed patients and consumers.

“We are having this Summit to have a conversation about what is most important to all of us towards hang a formidable and sustainable future in our industry,” said Sergeant. “For two days, we desire to engage, educate and enhance your ability to more easily facilitate and meet the increased demand for home healthcare.”

The early-bird registration deadline for the event is August 15.

PBS: Village Model for Aging Gains Popularity

Published by Senior Housing News
Alyssa Gerace
August 12, 2013

Last Thursday, PBS NewsHour aired a segment featuring the village concept, a community model in which neighbors help each other age in place as an alternative to moving into a long-term care facility.

There are around 100 villages located throughout the country and hundreds more in development, according to the Village-to-Village Network, the organization that helps establish each one, although they’re locally led and tailored to participants’ needs. Members of the organizations typically have access to free or low-cost services that can help them remain safely and independently at home as they age.

Susan McWhinney-Morse—one of the original founders of the first village, Beacon Hill Village in Massachusetts—told PBS that the not-for-profit, neighborly model is an example of the multiple options now available to baby boomers as they head into retirement age.

“Probably up until the turn of the last century, there appeared to be very few options because our houses were too big. It was too hard to take care of them,” she said. “But now I think people are beginning to understand that they can move to a smaller apartment in their own community.”

McWhinney-Morse and her husband turned their home into apartments, essentially downsizing without the need to move.

“If one begins to look at the options one has to stay at home, then one can be very creative and find the resources that they need, the support they need to keep their roots,” she said.

Click here to watch the segment, or read the interview with the Beacon Hill Village founder.

Remote Monitoring Emerges As Key Player In Healthcare Transformation

Published by McKnight's Long Term Care News
Brian Fuhr
November 30, 2001

The recent acquisition of WellAware by Healthsense is reflective of the ongoing transformation of healthcare into a performance- and wellness-centric system that leverages advanced aging services technologies to support the diverse and rapidly evolving needs of the expanding senior population.

Specifically, the emergence of pay-for-performance care and reimbursement models has intensified the focus on increasing the quality of and access to care while reducing associated costs. Deploying advanced technologies to better target care utilization is an important element of accomplishing these objectives.

When those technologies include remote monitoring, the added bonus for seniors is greater independence and better quality of life. For senior living communities, it helps address the occupancy challenges associated with an older, higher-acuity population by enabling seniors to safely remain in independent living apartments, even as their care needs increase.

By monitoring “activities of daily living,” remote sensors play an increasingly important role in managing the health and wellness of the expanding senior population by

allowing seniors to securely age in place while still having ready access to the healthcare resources they need.
providing caregivers with the timely information they need to intervene appropriately.
With just a scant few decades under its belt, it may seem that remote monitoring is too new and untested to play such a central role in transforming an industry that consumes nearly 18 percent of the U.S. GDP. However, its youthfulness is deceptive; remote sensor functionality has quickly matured from reactive safety monitoring to proactive and interactive wellness management.

No longer limited to detecting emergency situations such as falls, today's remote sensors can be used to monitor and measure key wellness indicators such as sleep quality, activity and other physiological information and alert caregivers to potential emergent health conditions. The end result is more informed and proactive care decisions that reduce costs and slow the progression of seniors through the care continuum.

Also evidence of its rapid maturity is the presence of remote monitoring at many of the nation's leading senior living communities. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, which tops the LeadingAge Ziegler 100 as the largest non-profit senior living provider, is one of the largest users of remote monitoring with nearly 2,000 systems deployed. Founding members of the Healthsense Care Alliance including Ebenezer, The Lutheran Home Association and Northfield Retirement Community have all deployed sensor technologies. Others include Volunteers of America (VoA) Presbyterian Homes & Services and Ecumen — just to name a few.

The maturation of the market is further evidenced by the accelerated consolidation among leading technology providers, most recently the Healthsense-WellAware acquisition, but also activity such as the acquisition of QuietCare by GE.

This consolidation is a necessary next step in the evolution of remote monitoring. It brings together best practices, complementary platforms and innovative customers necessary for these technologies to impact workflows and change outcomes even as the care and access needs of the elderly population — and the healthcare system as a whole — evolves.