Saturday, November 3, 2012

Telehealth Grants to Help Diabetics

The Visiting Nursing Association (VNA) of Western New York recently announced that grant funding for $250,000 was received from HRSA’s Telehealth Network Grant Program to implement a “Diabetes Telehomecare Program for Rural Western New York.”

Each year, 75 diabetes patients in New York’s Chautauqua and Genesee counties are targeted to participate in the program. Through this project, the VNA will expand the program in partnership with three physician practices to increase access to care and improve health outcomes for rural-based patients diagnosed with diabetes.

Individuals participating in the diabetes project experience significant barriers to care in terms of getting diagnosed but also in managing transportation needs and dealing with chronic health conditions. In addition, these individuals may be experiencing poverty and very often lack adequate health insurance.

By using telehealth monitoring in the home and care coordination provided by a multidisciplinary team, the participating patients will be able to improve their ability to manage the disease and reduce potential complications. The project will provide reimbursement to the participating primary care physicians for monthly patient interventions resulting from a telehealth data review.

The VNA will oversee the program and facilitate daily telehealth monitoring of the participating patients, home care, as well as provide monthly teleconferences between patients and a VNA diabetes educator, other consultation services, and case conferencing with the partnering physician offices. Monitoring patients will help to reconcile medication issues, blood glucose levels, diet, and other concerns.