SOURCE: AMC Health

AMC Health

June 27, 2013 07:53 ET

AMC Health's Telemonitoring Kiosk Helps Independence Residences Inc. Improve the Health and Quality of Life for Residents With Developmental Disabilities

AMC Health's Technology Supports IRI's Commitment to Provide the Highest-Quality Personalized Services While Optimizing Nursing Resources, Reducing Costs and Preparing for Capitated Reimbursement

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jun 27, 2013) - AMC Health, a leading provider of end-to-end telehealth solutions, announced today that Independence Residences Inc. (IRI) has deployed its multi-user telemonitoring kiosk solution to provide residents with developmental disabilities with convenient and timely on-site monitoring of key health indicators. The kiosk, which is equipped with a high-definition audio and video console, enables virtual visits with an IRI nurse. Bluetooth-enabled devices attached to the kiosk are used to take biometric readings such as blood pressure, pulse, blood glucose levels, oxygen saturation, weight and temperature, which are then automatically transmitted to a clinical portal. Any findings that fall outside the person specific normal range will alert the nurse who will determine what additional action is needed.

IRI, a not-for-profit human services agency committed to supporting the highest quality of life for adults and children with developmental disabilities, is using AMC Health's technology to reduce disruptive, unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits and inpatient and outpatient hospitalizations by identifying and addressing minor and potential medical problems before they become serious.

In addition to improving the health and well-being of the residents, the kiosk will also optimize utilization of nursing resources, reduce escalating non-reimbursable costs and prepare the agency for New York's transition from fee-for-service reimbursement for care provided to developmentally disabled individuals to a capitated/managed care model. Providing the kiosk will also generate significant savings for Medicaid by reducing over utilization of expensive healthcare services.

"The availability of these kiosks is a critical milestone in our ability to fulfill our principles of putting people first, working as a team, acting on evidence and doing all that with a sense of urgency," said Raymond J. DeNatale, executive director at IRI. "We selected AMC Health after determining its system would help us achieve these objectives and was the most user-friendly of the different solutions under consideration. Beyond the technology, AMC Health takes the time to understand the developmental disabilities field and the needs of the people it supports. Using AMC Health, our nurses can conduct virtual consultations with medical workers and residents and can access current and trended biometric readings from any location. This eliminates the need to travel to the resident's home whenever a problem is suspected. Not only will this allow our nurses to spend more time on patient care and interactions, but will reduce non-reimbursable expenses incurred when we transport residents to healthcare facilities. It also ensures more rapid identification of serious problems that warrant an ED visit. Soon we will also be able to provide virtual visits with a dedicated physician."

AMC Health's solution will also position IRI to address a fundamental reimbursement change from the fee-for-service model that has been in place for decades to a capitated system that will be piloted beginning Jan. 1, 2014. This transition is aligned with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) initiative that allows providers of residential, medical and other services for the developmentally disabled to voluntarily enroll in a specialized managed care organization called a Developmental Disabilities Individual Support and Care Coordination Organization (DISCO). The Advance Care Alliance, with about 75 member agencies including IRI, has filed a Letter of Intent to become a pilot DISCO along with other similar associations.

"We believe telemedicine is going to be absolutely essential in the delivery of quality medical care under the capitated rate system New York is adopting," DeNatale said. "When you get a per-member-per-month rate that will decrease reimbursement by 7 to 15 percent, you have to find a way to deliver high quality services at lower cost. Telehealth will do that while positioning us to meet the needs of the people we support more rapidly."

According to Terri Seppala, executive director of Telehealth Associates, Inc., the consulting firm that helped IRI evaluate potential telehealth partners, "We believe that telemonitoring will become a vital component for sustainable programs that serve individuals with developmental disabilities. After a comprehensive review of three companies' options, IRI and I selected AMC Health because the company could provide a complete package of proven, affordable, state-of-the-art offerings and ongoing support backed up by impressive clinical and financial outcomes that have been published in top peer-reviewed journals."

Seppala continued, "IRI has the resources and commitment to establish a model telemonitoring program that similar agencies will want to emulate. For example, after an IRI presentation about using technology to improve the lives of their residents at a recent conference for the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA), many agencies expressed an interest in learning more about this telehealth solution."

"We are proud that a human services agency as visionary, innovative and highly regarded as IRI selected us as their partner," said Nesim Bildirici, president and CEO of AMC Health. "We look forward to working with them to set the highest standard of excellence for the efficient use of telemonitoring to support people with developmental disabilities." 

About Independence Residences Inc.
Independence Residences Inc. (IRI) is a not-for-profit human service agency founded in 1984 that is committed to supporting the highest quality of life for children and adults with developmental disabilities, visual and other impairments, by providing innovative residential and community support services in Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island, New York. Woodhaven, NY-based IRI ranks among the top 5 percent of agencies statewide that perform consistently better than others, leading the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to invite IRI to become a COMPASS Agency, as part of its efforts to recognize the "high performing agencies" it oversees. For more information about IRI, visit http://www.in-res.org.

About AMC Health
Headquartered in New York City, AMC Health is a leading provider of telehealth solutions that provide customized, scalable, cost-effective programs that assist organizations serving at-risk populations and clinical trials. A proven combination of technology and end-to-end support services enables safe, dependable monitoring at home and identifies potential problems so they can be addressed to avoid serious complications. AMC Health's remote patient monitoring programs deliver clinically actionable information that enhance care coordination, improve patient outcomes and reduce the overall cost of healthcare. For more information, visit www.amchealth.com.

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