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In the News: Aug 25–Sept 1

Pilot Provides Telehealth in Affordable Housing

A recent mHealthIntelligence article discusses how the University of California and CITRIS are launching a pilot program that aims to equip 300 seniors living in affordable housing communities with telehealth services to manage their health and wellness.

Older adults living in affordable housing often have limited access to technology and sufficient internet bandwidth, as well as lack the digital skills to adopt telehealth. Additionally, many of these adults suffer from chronic diseases that require continuous management. In response, the program will provide internet access, digital hardware and community-based digital literacy training in 2 California affordable housing buildings to promote healthy aging. Upon the successful implementation at the 2 sites, the program plans to expand to 4 more communities and create strategies to scale the program in California and the rest of the US.

The fastest-growing segment of the American population is aged 85 and older, and this cohort increasingly wants to stay at home or in their communities as they age. In response to consumer preference for home-based care, health systems and new market entrants must work together to deliver care outside the traditional medical campus. To learn more about how health systems can work to address changing preferences in the aging population, watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar Aging in Place.


AI Helps Address Provider Mental Health and Burnout

A recent Fierce Healthcare article discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the mental and emotional well-being of frontline workers. Brigham and Women’s Hospital plans to launch a pilot program with a platform by the mental health startup company Rose, where artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to proactively monitor levels of well-being and detect real-time changes for emergency health care professionals.

Utilizing 30-second questionnaires and free-response journal entries, Rose utilizes its HIPAA-compliant mental health monitoring and mobile app platform to track mental health, monitor levels of stress, identify triggers, and anticipate more extreme events for conditions such as anxiety, depression and trauma. The platform’s machine learning and natural language processing mechanisms also allow Rose to deliver personalized content and interventions to providers’ unique needs and can enhance in-person therapy sessions, as well.

Leading organizations are formalizing efforts to assess and address physician burnout at both the individual and organizational levels. Research suggests this multipronged approach is the key to effective, long-lasting results. To learn more about how to address physician burnout, please read the Sg2 FAQ Assessing and Addressing Physician Burnout.


COVID-19 Brings Hospital at Home to the Forefront

Modern Healthcare recently illustrated that, even though they represent a small portion of US hospitalizations, “hospital at home” programs are growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not only helping to reduce medical center strain, but also to ease patient fears.

Hospital at home programs serve patients with conditions such as chronic heart failure or respiratory issues who don’t need constant care. Patients are connected to vital sign monitoring devices and command centers 24/7 and can call for help when they need it with the press of a button. Even before COVID-19, some hospitals were interested in these programs to help with temporary patient spikes; after the pandemic hit, even more became interested in utilizing similar services like Medically Home and DispatchHealth, with others launching their own hospital at home programs. Typically, Medicare and some insurance plans don’t fully cover these types of treatments, however, some private insurers are now covering hospital at home care, and CMS has temporarily let hospitals bill for care in patients’ homes.

2020 has seen marked utilization shifts as organizations stopped and restarted elective procedures, shifted to virtual capabilities and managed ICU capacity due to COVID-19. Learn more about how the pandemic is changing care utilization demand, including rapidly shifting care to home and ambulatory settings, in the Sg2 Executive Summit webinar Anticipating the Impacts of COVID-19 on Care Utilization.

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