GrandCare Makes Healthcare Accessible Via Telemedicine

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GrandCare is in the news again. Rural telephone companies have partnered with local health care providers to improve access to care using telehealth devices. GrandCare is instrumental to this effort, according to Rural Telecom magazine.

The article “Making Health Care Accessible via Telemedicine,” features innovator Dave Wolf, CEO and general manager of Gardonville Telephone Cooperative in Brandon, MN. Wolf used GrandCare’s monitoring system as the vehicle to partner with Knute Nelson, a senior care organization serving rural Minnesota, to offer in-home services to hospice patients. “They want to go home and be surrounded by family and a familiar environment,” Wolf said.

GrandCare is proud to help.

In the article, Wolf praises GrandCare for its simple and intuitive design that makes it easy for seniors to manage, as well as its security features.

“These are very simple and intuitive and designed for someone who may be a little foggy and on meds,” he said, adding that it’s also easy to lock out unintended users. “We don’t want family visitors jumping on the tablet and clogging it up with games or videos.”

Wolf identifies two other reasons he chose GrandCare: quick installation, and a monthly payment schedule rather than a long-term contract. Wolf pointed out that these features, important to all clients, are especially important to hospice patients where time is of the essence.

In his experience, patients and caregivers liked many of the features of the GrandCare system, for example the medication reminders, music and entertainment features, and video communication with health care providers, caregivers, and family members.

IMG_0496E5F58889-3D96-48BF-941C-5C2C40FDDD46GrandCare’s Clinical Advisor, Daphne Karpan worked with Wolf to help make the partnership a success.In the article, Karpan praises Wolf and rural telecommunication providers for bringing high quality care to people who might otherwise not have access, saying, “Meeting the folks at Gardonville and working with other small telephone companies over the years has given me newfound respect for this group. They work hard, and they care about people.”

Karpan notes that progress has been made toward reimbursement for telehealth.

Medicare is doing pilot programs on telemedicine and home-based care, and it’s starting to do some limited reimbursements. While this is a slow-moving regulatory process, Karpan said the fact that Medicare reimbursements are now based on patient outcomes is good news.

The article also highlights the importance of HIPAA compliance for telehealth reimbursement. Successful partnerships use tools such as GrandCare that meet or exceed the requirements of HIPAA.

The advances in telehealth create a big opportunity. Using a tool that is a proven market leader, and that works, such as GrandCare, will be key to success. As Karpan explains:

“So many health care agencies are coming online to offer in-home services. If you get the package and system figured out, you’ll be the one to get that business.”

GrandCare is a caregiving tool that is designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes by enabling designated family members, caregivers and healthcare professionals to remotely care for an individual in a residence, regardless of geographic location. The heart of GrandCare is a large touchscreen in the residence, which provides the individual with social communications, instructions, reminders and medication prompts. No computer skills are needed for the resident to fully engage in all of the touchscreen features.

GrandCare is the winner of the 2012 CEA Innovation Entrepreneur Award for Small Business of the Year, and is a two-time winner of SeniorHomes.com’s Most Innovative Senior Products Award.

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