Learn How Telemedicine-Enabled Urgent Care Supported The Most Vulnerable Population



A grant-funded program1 developed and managed by Telehealth Associates to provide telemedicine-enabled urgent care and remote monitoring made an enormous difference for 2000+ individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in New York. The grant was one of several awarded by the NY Department of Health as part of its Balancing Incentive Program, with a goal to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and reduce unnecessary utilization. Our 3-year, $6 million project was the largest, was the only one to feature telemedicine, and was extended twice based on successful outcomes.

The telehealth enabled grant program featured a 24/7 triaging nurse call center that was available to enrollees and access to local nurses who could travel to the residence weekday evenings and weekend days to provide urgent care. During the final extension of the grant, the traveling nurses were equipped with Medpod MobileDoc – a video-enabled telemedicine rollerbag with diagnostic devices.

The nurse telepresented the individual to a remotely located NP or MD for assessment, diagnosis and recommended treatment. The physician could e-scribe antibiotics for delivery or pick up.

In this way an individual could be seen, assessed and treated in a 1-2 hour window without leaving home or disrupting the group home’s schedule or staffing.

Over 253 telemedicine visits conducted during this time period, resulting in 86% reduction in unnecessary ER utilization. A satisfaction survey of enrollees, residence nurses and caregivers showed that 99% wanted services to continue post-grant.

The grant program also tested the use of remote monitoring biometric devices such as blood pressure monitors, blood glucose readers, pulse oximeters and scales for individuals with chronic illnesses. The most severely systolic hypertensive individuals saw a 25% reduction in risk of cardiac events and 37% reduction in risk of stroke. Individuals monitoring blood glucose saw a 48% reduced risk of microvascular complications, 56% reduced risk of peripheral vascular disease, and 21% reduced risk of heart failure.

The grant program concluded September 30, 2017. Telehealth Associates has partnered with Long Island Select Healthcare, a provider of medical services during the grant, to offer similar virtual care services to individuals who participated in the grant.

Watch this News12 video about the Henry Schein Medpod MobileDoc technology we used in the grant to provide telemedicine-enabled urgent care in the home


Successful Outcomes Reported in Grant Findings

  • 86% reduction in Emergency Room visits
  • 99% patient satisfaction
  • 50% faster access to care
  • 37% reduced risk of stroke
  • 26% reduction in highest cost utilization
  • 68% improvement in lowest activated individuals (Patient Activation Measurement level 1’s)

Common Conditions Treated With Telemedicine In the Grant Program:

  • Bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis
  • Diarrhea/Constipation
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Rashes / Bug bites
  • Influenza
  • Asthma
  • Conjunctivitis

1 The 2014-2017 NY Department Of Health Balancing Incentive Program grant was awarded to Advance Care Alliance, a consortium of 100+ agencies serving the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled population on Long Island, NY and the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx.