Tag Archive for: Medicare

Telehealth Services Coverage

Medicare and Medicaid Introduce New Expansion of Coverage for Telehealth Services

The use of telehealth for delivering healthcare services expanded in recent years, an innovation that owes much to the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover selected telehealth services. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the expansion of telehealth services coverage helped providers reach mobility-challenged patients, who found it difficult to leave their homes to receive the healthcare services they needed. It also helped expand access, making it possible for patients to receive services from providers sometimes well outside of their geographic area.

In California, for example, the County of Lasson uses GrandCare’s HIPAA-compliant telehealth capabilities to provide therapy visits. And in Ohio, LADD, a Cincinnati-based non-profit, created a smart home for disabled men, which uses GrandCare and other ground breaking innovations in accessibility, lighting and sensory control. This home is built from the ground up to enable the residents to live safer, more independent and happier lives. According to said Brian Hart, Chief Strategy Officer at LADD, “We have been working on this for a long time and our partnership with GrandCare enables us to provide a safe, scalable and affordable service model.” Reimbursement through Medicaid for these services is possible, because Medicaid has expanded its definition of assistive technology to include support for remote supports, such as reminders and prompts for daily activities, and even video calls to receive remote support from caregivers. 

With the advent of the pandemic, the importance of telehealth became even more apparent, when it allowed patients to receive services safely, even as they sheltered at home. This was especially critical for our nation’s seniors, who were at the highest risk for the most severe forms of the disease. Those in congregate living were often under quarantine, and unable to safely leave their communities for needed care. The pandemic resulted in a dramatic increase in the use of remote telehealth services.

“Before the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), only 15,000 fee-for-service beneficiaries each week received a Medicare telemedicine service. Since the beginning of the PHE, CMS has added 144 telehealth services,” according to CMS. In the 7-month time period between mid-March and mid-October of 2020, over 24.5 million people received a Medicare-covered telehealth service. 

Telehealth has long been a priority. We started paying for short virtual visits in rural areas long before the pandemic struck. But the pandemic accentuated just how transformative it could be.” – Seema Verma, CMS Administrator

In recent months, Network Health, a Wisconsin-based insurance company, started a new program for its Medicare Advantage members in Wisconsin, using GrandCare in member homes to provide virtual visits with care managers and providers, and reduce loneliness and isolation. They will continue to roll out telehealth and medication management solutions to offer a better member experience.

This year’s Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule once again expands CMS coverage for telehealth services. Although one category of new covered services is designed to be temporary, remaining on the list through the end of the declared public health emergency, others are permanent additions to the list of covered services. It’s part of a strategy, according to CMS, to “create a healthcare system that results in better accessibility, quality, affordability, empowerment, and innovation.”

Telehealth has long been a priority,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We started paying for short virtual visits in rural areas long before the pandemic struck. But the pandemic accentuated just how transformative it could be.”

Among the many additional to this year’s schedule is a welcome broadening of the coverage for remote monitoring services. In addition, CMS has created new codes for coverage of online assessments, making it possible for qualified non-physician health care professionals to perform these services. “Medicare beneficiaries will now be able to receive dozens of new services via telehealth, and we’ll keep exploring ways to deliver Americans access to healthcare in the setting that they and their doctor decide makes sense for them,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Telehealth Services Expanding Under Medicare

Exciting news! The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new ruling last week that adds telehealth benefits to Medicare Advantage plans. Previously, certain telehealth benefits were only available to seniors in Original Medicare, and only if they lived in remote, rural areas.

“Today’s policies represent a historic step in bringing innovative technology to Medicare beneficiaries.”

These new changes, starting in 2020, mean that patients will have the option to use telehealth to receive medicare care, and have it covered. What does this mean for GrandCare? Instead of being required to go to a healthcare facility for every service, seniors will be able to use GrandCare’s one -touch, HIPAA-compliant video chat on their GrandCare system to connect with their healthcare and clinical providers. It also means expanded access to telehealth services from providers who may practice in other parts of the country, and may not otherwise be reachable by the senior patient. This also enables medical homecare providers, such as the visiting nurses, to better access patients using telehealth monitoring tools and virtual check ins, without having the excess “windshield” time and cost of transport.

“Today’s policies represent a historic step in bringing innovative technology to Medicare beneficiaries,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “With these new telehealth benefits, Medicare Advantage enrollees will be able to access the latest technology and have greater access to telehealth. By providing greater flexibility to Medicare Advantage plans, beneficiaries can receive more benefits, at lower costs and better quality.”

With geographical restrictions lifted, CMS is ensuring that seniors in all parts of the country will have access to telehealth and telemedicine services. According to CMS, “These policies continue the agency’s efforts to modernize the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs, unleash innovation and drive competition to improve quality among private Medicare health and drug plans.”

GrandCare’s easy-to-use, HIPAA-compliant video chat feature has always allowed seniors an easy face-to-face chat with healthcare providers. GrandCare also uses Bluetooth wireless technologies for remote monitoring of vitals and biometric readings, and offers better medication management and compliance monitoring. With the new CMS ruling, GrandCare users will enjoy a new convenience, better and faster access to care, while being covered by Medicare.

LB Homes Achieves Four Star Medicare Rating, Attributes Success to Technology


Minnesota-Based Home Care Agency Uses grandCARE Technology to Improve Patient Care and Outcomes


Over100YearslogoFergus Falls, MN – Lakeland Home Care, an LB Homes agency, announced today that they have received a four star quality of patient care rating by Medicare. The average quality rating is 3 stars. LB Homes attributes their high rating to a number of factors including GrandCare’s remote monitoring, telehealth and socialization platform. LB Homes uses this technology in a service called “LB Homes Connect” to provide top-notch care to remote clients.

Medicare ratings, which are determined through an analysis of nine separate quality measures, include flu vaccination rates, drug education, increases in mobility, and fewer hospitalizations. Telehealth, telemedicine, and medication adherence technology from the GrandCare platform can assist in mitigating readmissions and proactively alerting LB Homes nurses should something go wrong.

LB Homes monitors patient vitals using GrandCare telehealth devices like blood pressure cuffs, weight scales and glucometers. The LB Connect system reminds LB clients when and how to take their readings, instructions for medications and can alert trained caregivers of potential problematic situations.

“We have seen healthier and happier clients and we know that [LB Homes Connect] has prevented emergency room visits.” said Carrie Miller, Telehealth Program Coordinator at LB Homes. “Our nurses are more efficient and effective knowing that…we can intervene long before things get critical.”

GrandCare CEO Charlie Hillman understands the importance of in-home technology for the health and well-being of our aging population:

We’ve built a robust and comprehensive caregiving platform, but we have learned that better outcomes are delivered through the people using these tools. LB Homes is proving that remote technologies can empower the best caregivers to provide even better care. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Congratulations to LB Homes on this prestigious recognition.

About LB Homes: LB Homes began helping seniors find quality housing and healthcare services nearly a century ago. Founded in 1915 in the town of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Lutheran Brethren Homes began its ministry in senior services and eventually expanded to Arizona and Texas. In 1959 they opened the Broen (Memorial) Home in Fergus Falls, MN.

Over the years LB Homes expanded to now include long term care, home care services, end of life care, short stay care, assisted living, and enhanced assisted living.

For more information, please visit www.LBHomes.org
805 E. Channing Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 56537

About GrandCare: GrandCare Systems, founded in 2005, combines digital health assessment, biometric readings, activity of daily living sensing, medication management, smart home automation, video chat and virtual touch-based communications into the most comprehensive and fully-featured technology in the private home market. GrandCare is designed for individuals seeking a caregiving solution for an aging loved one or for professional in-home, long term care or clinical caregiving providers.

For more information, visit: www.grandcare.com or call 262-338-6147

PR Contact:
Laura Mitchell Consulting
Digital Health Marketing

“Healing In Place”: The successful transition from hospital to home using technology

Today, GrandCare’s Laura Mitchell & Dr. Erick Eiting of USC spoke together about their collaborative efforts in using Technology to mitigate hospital readmissions. To read GrandCare’s whitepaper on “Healing in Place”, download that here

Listen to the Recording Here: https://www.ecarediary.com/Webinars/future.aspx?BlogId=24

Healing in Place: How Technology Can Come to the Rescue of Caregivers!

There is a huge sense of relief for caregivers when elderly loved ones are allowed to go home after being in a hospital. However, very often, seniors are burdened by a myriad of instructions for diet, exercise and medication regimen prescribed by more than one healthcare provider. Not being able to cope with the stress, most of them end up being readmitted to the hospital. In this Webinar, we will discuss causes of hospital readmissions and provide a prevention plan including health technology tools and in-home caregiving services to keep seniors safe and connected, at home.  Join Laura Mitchell, founding member of GrandCare Systems and expert in technology for medical management and Dr. Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, expert in Emergency Medicine, for the FREE 30 minute Webinar followed by a 15 minute question and answer session.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 02:00PM EST

Presenter: Laura Mitchell

Laura Mitchell is the founding member of GrandCare Systems that provides integrated technology solutions for medical management for seniors. Dr. Erick Eiting is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and is known for creating Geriatric “Centers of Excellence”.

Host: Susan Baida

Susan Baida is the Co-founder of eCareDiary.com.

Listen to the Recording Here: https://www.ecarediary.com/Webinars/future.aspx?BlogId=24

Laura Mitchell to Speak on Hospital Readmission

At the First National Medicare-Medicaid Payment Incentives and Penalties Summit

“The Leading Forum on Recovery Audits, Readmissions, Value-Based Purchasing, HACs and Never Events, and Managing to Medicare Margins.”

Laura Mitchell, VP Business Development will be speaking alongside Dr. Erick Eiting on “Healing in Place™ — Using Technology to Reduce the Risk of Hospital Readmissions.” Conference Theme II: Thursday, May 31, 2012, from 4:45pm-5:15pm in the Prince William room. 

Laura has also recently published a whitepaper under the same title.

The following is an excerpt form “Healing in Place™”:

From Hospital to Home: The Grand Transition
One cannot seriously talk about healthcare reform, improving outcomes, or reducing cost without talking about the aging of America, given the large portion of healthcare costs that are incurred in the later stages of life.1 Healthcare already consumes a distressing 17% percentage of GDP, and with the “Boomers” entering their chronic condition years, the financial strain on our society is certain to become more acute, if not critical. As a society, we pay for many pounds of cure. GrandCare Systems is passionate about providing those ounces of prevention that allow patients to successfully transition from acute care to heal at home with a technology assist. Only by moving from the monitored life to the analyzed life to the influenced life, can we reverse the cost spiral of post-acute and chronic care.

A downloadable copy of this whitepaper is available HERE.

For more information on the summit visit http://www.medicaremedicaidpaymentsummit.com

Register at http://medicaremedicaidpaymentsummit.com/registration.php

First National Medicare-Medicaid Payment Incentives and Penalties Summit

Medicare compliance Medicare RAC recovery conferenceThe Leading Forum on Recovery Audits, Readmissions, Value-Based Purchasing, HACs and Never Events, and Managing to Medicare Margins

May 30 – June 1, 2012
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
Washington, DC

Online at

Conference Theme II: Healing in Place™ — Using Technology to Reduce the Risk of Hospital Readmissions  is scheduled for Thursday, May 31, 2012, from 4:45pm-5:15pm. Featuring Laura Mitchell of GrandCare and Dr. Erick Eiting.

– SAVE UP TO $400 –
Register by Friday, April 20, 2012 for
Early Bird discount and save up to $400.
Click here to register.

– CMS Updates on Medicare and Medicaid Initiatives
– Hospital Compliance Programs
– Recovery Audit Contracting in Medicare and Medicaid
– Reducing Hospital Acquired Conditions and “Never Events”
– Proven Strategies to Prevent Unnecessary Readmissions
– Key Legal and Regulatory Issues Ahead
– Employer Demands for Value
– Total Revenue Cycle Management
– Instituting a Culture of Patient Safety
– Making Value Based Purchasing a Bonus not a Penalty
– How Patient-Centered Care Improves Quality and Lowers Cost
– Managing to Medicare and Medicaid Margins
– The Board’s Role in Quality and Safety
– How Baldrige Winners Meet the Triple Aim

12/01/11 Webinar “Health Care: Payment & Delivery System Reforms”

Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2011
Time: 2pm ET (1pm CT / 12p MT / 11am PT)


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will mark a paradigm shift in the way health care is delivered in this country and how providers will be compensated.

In this webinar, you will learn about:

  • Impacts to home health and long term care providers with respect to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.
  • Other new initiatives, demonstrations and pilot programs that are designed to shift payment for services from volume to value-based criteria.
  • The heavy emphasis on clinical integration across the continuum of patient care settings.

Our Speaker: Dan Santos, Williams Mullen

Dan Santos is a regulatory and corporate attorney at the law firm Williams Mullen, and is a member of the Firm’s Long Term Care Industry Service Group and its Health Care Practice Group.  Mr. Santos has extensive experience representing health care clients on a multi- state basis and at the federal level. He regularly counsels health care providers in transactional and regulatory matters, including hospitals, health systems, skilled nursing facilities, behavioral health companies, physician groups, rehabilitation clinics, and home health agencies, among others. He frequently interacts with federal and state health regulators on his clients’ behalf regarding compliance issues, such as investigations,enforcement actions and reimbursement issues.

Our Sponsor: Williams Mullen

Williams Mullen is a full service legal and governmental affairs firm of over 300 attorneys and professionals with offices in Washington D.C., Virginia and North Carolina.

Image Credits: http://www.instbusapp.org/education/webinars/creating_incremental_expense_budget_under_stark.html

Moving an aging parent can lead to negative outcomes…?

I read an article today about why the transitions in healthcare (moving from one place to another) alone are causing a large number of avoidable issues.  The author focuses on the notion of going from assisted living to skilled nursing or even skilled nursing to a hospital and while I absolutely agree with this, I think we can take it one step further and say it starts really when we move them out of their homes.  An ounce of prevention will most certainly lead to more than a pound of cure. The initiatives in place to help individuals manage their own chronic conditions and proactively have a say in their own care will really help to keep individuals safer and healthier at home. Our goals at GrandCare are simple: to enable a loved one to stay “in place” for longer – wherever that may be. Some use a technology to stay independent at home, others (professional caregivers) use it take care of multiple residents and enable more independence, less personal intervention, more space & privacy and more enhanced safety.  This can help a wing to transition to higher levels of care without moving residences.  NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) are exactly where this country is headed and it has to be that way. We simply don’t have the brick and mortar available nor the personal caregivers available for the aging population! So, we use technology assists to enable our caregivers to extend their reach and continue to provide care, we use technology to help individuals remain at home….

GrandCare is just one piece of the puzzle (we can connect individuals, remind them to do things, encourage doctor/patient collaboration, guide in total wellness & chronic disease mgmt…now we just need some reimbursement policies in place to help cover this obvious solution…

Why ‘Transitions’ In Health Care Are Dangerous And How To Avoid Them

By Fran Cronin
Guest Blogger

With more than 1.6 million Americans now living in nursing homes, many of us are all too familiar with the debilitating cycle of a nursing home admission followed by repeated hospitalizations, a spiraling into decline, and ultimately death.

I know for my 87-year old father, now living in an assisted living facility, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.

new study released this week by Brown University and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, confirms what many of us have observed: health care transitions, such as moves in and out of the hospital from a nursing home, do not lead to positive outcomes. More common are frequent medical errors; poor care coordination, infections and additional medications. For patients with acute dementia, these transitions can exacerbate already present symptoms such as agitation, confusion and emotional distress.

The scope of this syndrome — in which health care transitions often turn into emergencies — is expressed in a key Brown finding: almost one in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia experienced repeated hospitalizations in the last 90 days of life. Some were even moved as late as the last three days of their life. Burdensome transitions were also found to correlate with other indicators of poor end-of-life care.

I know for my 87-year old father, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.

This is a far cry from the overt wishes of most families, says Dr. Joan Teno, one of the study’s lead authors and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University….

To read the entire article click here

7-7-11 GrandCare Webinar – – Hospital Readmissions & Medicare

Download/Watch Here

Thursday July 7th Aging/Technology Webinar:

Date: Thursday, July 7th, 2011
Time: 2pm EDT (1pm CDT / 12p MDT / 11am PDT)
Location: http://grandcaresystems.webex.com

Topic: Hospital Readmission Rules- The Real Story

The new readmission rules from Medicare will be a huge opportunity for Caregiving Technology. To be effective in the market place, we need to be able separate facts from fiction and be selling hard now.

Take-away Points:

1)       Learn what new rules medicare has made for hospital readmission

2)      Learn what causes hospital readmission, how caregiving technologies can help

3)       Take action and go to market with key strategies

Our Speaker: John Boden, Founder of ElderIssues 

John Boden started ElderIssues, LLC in 2001. Prior to that, John was the founder of Personal Care Managers, Inc. (PCM), a professional geriatric care management company begun in 1988. That company helped elders and their families navigate every area of eldercare. John is a nationally recognized expert in elder care issues and geriatric care management. He has served as President of the Florida Guardianship Association and has been an active member in the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the National Guardianship Association. He has also served the Florida Bar’s Elder Law Section. Prior to founding PCM in 1988, John held executive positions in sales, marketing, and operations at several entrepreneurial firms. John also served as a U.S. Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, successfully completing more than 750 combat missions. He is married to his wife Patricia who founded PCM with him, and has five children, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild, who give him pride, joy and happiness.

Our Sponsor: Elder Issues and LifeLedger

The ElderIssues LifeLedger is not one person’s idea. It is based on the knowledge and experience of all of the many eldercare experts who worked with PCM over the years. It evolved from their drive to always find ways to do a better job for the families and the elders we were privileged to serve.It is the wish of us all that you will benefit from our knowledge and experience to become better caregivers with the guidance and support  provided by the LifeLedger. Visit them online at www.elderissues.com 

If you missed last months webinar on Sound Therapy for Seniors,

be sure to check it out, along with recordings of our other previous recordings by visiting Past Webinars right here on the GrandCare Blog!