Transcending Home Care is your source for ideas, insights, advice and implications surrounding the ever-changing landscape of home-based care. Seasoned healthcare consultant Stan Massey brings you compelling discussions with experts from the field to help you successfully evaluate and navigate today’s challenges and opportunities … and give you resources to improve every day.
The Unfolding Impact of Remote Patient Monitoring
It’s no secret that most seniors in America want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. In fact, according to the Disabled Living Foundation, the majority of seniors say they fear losing their independence more than they fear death.
For many, a main hallmark of independence is being able to age in place. A survey by AARP revealed that 90% of Americans age 65 and over want to stay in their home and 80% believe their current residence is where they will live until they die.
Other statistics show 27% of seniors currently live alone – and that number is projected to keep growing as Baby Boomers age. So, a crucial key to empowering seniors to maintain their independence, especially if they live alone, is the use of technology to monitor their health and well-being.
Ryan Herd – founder of Caregiver Smart Solutions and CEO of 1 Sound Choice (a company specializing in smart home automation) – joins host Stan Massey of Transcend Strategy Group in this engaging discussion on remote monitoring technology and its increasingly important role in caregiving.
Whether you’re a professional provider of home-based care or a concerned family member wanting to keep tabs on a senior loved one, existing and emerging technologies are making remote monitoring easier and more effective. Ryan and Stan cover a variety of significant factors for remote monitoring, including fall detection, looking for changes in living habits, tracking clinical vital signs and much more.
With 30 years of experience in smart home technology, Ryan consults with the home building and healthcare industries and is a sought-after speaker. Because of his expertise, he was selected by the National Kitchen & Bath Association to be a 2019 NKBA Insider to assist in educating its members about the importance of collaboration between technology integrators and the design community.
Ryan offers unique insight into smart home technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the significance of technology in the home today. He also is the author of “Join the Smart Home Revolution,” Amazon’s #1 best-selling smart home book.
Is the Healthcare System Ready for Hospital-at-Home?
COVID-19 magnified the need and desire for patients to stay out of hospitals if possible. A national survey conducted by Transcend Strategy Group revealed that more than 60% of family caregivers had greater confidence in the quality of care provided at home during the pandemic versus care in a facility. Plus, the repeating surges in COVID cases across the country pushed many hospitals to the brink – and sometimes beyond – when it came to inpatient beds available.
Cooper Linton – associate VP of Duke HomeCare & Hospice – is at the forefront of helping a major healthcare system rethink how certain patients can receive care at home instead of in a hospital. In this discussion with host Stan Massey of Transcend Strategy Group, Cooper discusses the pioneering efforts of Duke University Healthcare System in starting a COVID Care-at-Home program and examining the option of starting a Hospital-at-Home program.
The conversation covers a variety of issues related to these programs, including patient criteria to identify candidates for home care, the different demands on providers for managing higher acuity patients at home, and the growing imperative for remote patient monitoring and other technologies to enable the efficiencies necessary for a larger home patient census.
Cooper has deep expertise in managing home-based and community-based care. Before taking his current role at Duke HomeCare & Hospice in 2018, he was VP of marketing and business development at Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County) for 13 years. His career also includes experience with home health providers.
In addition, Cooper is co-host of his own podcast “Edge of Aging” – a series that asks, “What if we reimagined how we provide care for older adults and their caregivers?” and explores the possibilities.
Leading Change in Home-Based Care
COVID-19 ushered in an overwhelmingly stronger preference for patients to receive care at home rather than in a facility. A national survey by Transcend Strategy Group revealed that 60 percent of family healthcare decision makers are now more confident that quality care can be provided at home versus 33 percent feeling more confident in the quality of care at a facility.
This preference, along with the growing demand for care as the huge demographic of Baby Boomers continues to age, is opening new opportunities and challenges for providers of home-based care.
In response, Bill Dombi – Doctor of Law and President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) – has said that providers of home-based care must demonstrate “a willingness to not only embrace change, but to lead it.”
Through this important discussion with host Stan Massey of Transcend, Bill offers his insights to three key areas of necessary change: 1) Widening the understanding of what home-based care can provide; 2) The role of technology and other innovations in meeting the demands of home-based care; and 3) Developing a bigger and better workforce to handle the growing volume of home-based patients.
Bill has served at NAHC for more than 30 years, including his role as president since 2017. He also serves as executive director for the Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association. Bill specializes in legal, legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of patients and providers of home health, private duty home care and hospice care.
With nearly 40 years of experience in healthcare law and policy, Bill has been involved in virtually all legislative and regulatory efforts affecting home care and hospice since 1975.
Should nonclinical home care be serving a bigger role?
When most people think of “home care” or “home health,” they think of clinical or skilled therapy services at home. However, as the “Silver Tsunami” of Baby Boomers continue to age, there’s an exponential need for nonclinical home care. By helping with activities of daily living, providing personal monitoring and supervision, serving as a companion, running errands and much more, nonclinical caregivers help seniors age in place with greater independence.
Jeff Salter – founder and CEO of Caring Senior Service – has been leading his company for 30 years to meet these needs. In this discussion with host Stan Massey of Transcend Strategy Group, Jeff delves into the lack of awareness and understanding about the availability of nonclinical home care, as well as key opportunities and challenges of this important service.
The conversation covers the details of the crucial role nonclinical home care serves. Jeff and Stan also talk about the gaps custodial care can help fill in partnership with clinical providers, the current lack of reimbursement or tax breaks for nonclinical care at home, the impact technology will have on home care innovations, and the career opportunities for home caregivers – including workers being displaced by technology in retail and food service.
Jeff began his career in home health and quickly saw a glaring need for greater custodial home care. He started Caring Senior Service in 1991, launching the company in Odessa, Texas. After expanding across the state for 12 years, the company began offering franchises in 2003 and today has 45 locations in 20 states.
To celebrate Caring Senior Service’s 30th anniversary – and to bring national attention to the outstanding needs in senior care – Jeff is embarking on a 9,000-mile electric bike journey starting April 1, 2021 (no foolin’!). He will ride to each of his franchise’s 45 locations and begin a dialogue with each community on how they can join him to Close the Gap in Senior Care.
Helping physicians embrace palliative care
Many physicians view palliative care and hospice care as the same service – pain and symptom management for the very end of life. By not referring patients to palliative care early in a disease progression, the patients and their families may be missing out on valuable relief from physical, emotional and spiritual suffering.
Annette Collier, MD, FACP – and a medical director for palliative care – has invested more than a decade in educating her physician peers about the many advantages of earlier referrals to this specialty. In this conversation with host Stan Massey of Transcend, Dr. Collier shares her insights on successful approaches she’s had for partnering with physicians and greatly enhancing their understanding and appreciation of palliative care.
The key? Working with physicians one-to-one and having them experience palliative care “the right way” starting with just one patient. Dr. Collier discusses how she demonstrates palliative care as a very collaborative effort with the referring physician, working clearly in tandem with the doctor’s curative treatment plan. The conversation also covers the role of palliative care in different care settings, CMS’ shifting views on better interdisciplinary care for seriously ill patients, and advice for communicating with patients and families.
Dr. Collier has been the palliative care medical director for Hospice of Northwest Ohio and their Sincera Supportive Care service line since 2008. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine as well as Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Collier also has served as an assistant professor at the University of Toledo Department of Medicine since 2016.
Can we build hospice for true equality of care?
Whatever your opinion of the BLM movement, it has thrust the topic of true equality into a searing national spotlight – and has prompted many of us to reflect more deeply on the issue.
In addition to risk factors regarding COVID-19 and minority populations, equality considerations have sparked renewed discussions on glaring disparities in healthcare across key demographics. Hospice and palliative care professionals have recognized for decades that minority populations greatly underutilize their valuable services. Recent Medicare data shows that of their members who died on hospice care, only 37.1% of African Americans received the service, 38.8% of Hispanic/Latino descent and 34.5% of Asian descent (compared to 51.2% of Caucasians).
In this special podcast episode, Ronit Elk, PhD – Professor in the School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care at University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) – talks with host Stan Massey about an important research project and pilot program she has been leading. The subject is developing culturally based protocols for palliative care and hospice, with the goal of better engagement and access for minority populations.
Dr. Elk and Stan discuss why the origins of traditional hospice care in America may not be an ideal fit with minority populations, the disconnect that can happen between the medical world and cultural beliefs, the influence of community in minority populations – and how such factors informed her process to develop protocols based on individual cultures. Protocols developed from her research currently are being applied through a pilot program in Beaufort, South Carolina, a rural area with a significant African American population.
In addition to her position at UAB, Dr. Elk is associate director of the Southeast Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care and Supportive Care. She also served as guest editor on “Palliative and End of Life Care for African Americans” in a special issue of Journal of Palliative Medicine.
Dr. Elk was born in Israel (but moved to many countries during her youth because her father was an Israeli Ambassador to Turkey, India, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa). She has been a U.S. resident for more than 30 years yet maintains a global perspective on serious illness, death and dying.