LeadingAge20: Improve Telehealth for Senior Care in 5 Steps

Written by Kevin Joy for HealthTech Magazine. 
Simple and strategic adjustments can make access to lifesaving virtual care easier, conference panelists said. on
Safety measures to keep older adults sheltered in place have been critical during COVID-19. The need for ongoing medical care, however, hasn’t stopped.

Telehealth in senior care residences was a growing topic of discussion last year at LeadingAge’s annual conference, but the practice is now essential, industry panelists at the organization’s 2020 virtual gathering said.

A federal relaxation of HIPAA rules and expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage has made it simpler for seniors to get care from a distance and avoid high-risk spaces such as hospitals.

Even though many senior care providers were able to roll out some type of telehealth solution in recent months, the efforts must be positioned to grow and evolve.

“We already knew this was a great option,” said Judy Collett-Miller, director of innovation technology at Parker Health Group, a New Jersey aging services organization that offered limited telehealth services before the pandemic. “These circumstances forced decisions quicker.”

She offered insights in a panel with Brett Ortega, vice president of community technology at HumanGood, a California-based operator of 22 senior care communities.