CAST Shares COVID-19 Tech Resources

Messages from Majd | April 20, 2020

Telehealth and social connectedness technologies take center stage as the COVID-19 response grows.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we are seeing an explosion of telehealth, as CMS expands access to protect the health of older adults. This month, we share resources to help you bring your residents the safety of virtual healthcare visits, as well as information on newfound demand for telehealth solutions.
 
As Americans continue social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, older adults are becoming even more isolated. As we know that loneliness can cause its own health challenges for older adults, CAST is focusing on how to heighten social connection and is providing new resources. Please read on for tech solutions that can help your residents—and your organization—during this challenging time.

CAST Updates Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Tool

If you are looking for engagement solutions to help ease the challenges that social distancing brings for older adults, check out the updated Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Tool from LeadingAge CAST. The new tool includes a Product Matrix and Online Selection Tool for 45 products, as well as three new products and six new case studies. See an overview of the updated tool.

New CAST Case Study: Better COVID-19 Communications

During the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, an enterprise communication platform with mobile push notifications improved the customer experience for employees, residents, and families at Waterman Village Retirement Community. See this new CAST case study to learn about an app from LeadingAge CAST Supporter Connected Living and how engagement technologies could help your organization.

CMS Expands COVID-19 Telehealth Access; Demand Is Strong

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, telehealth coverage is expanding for Medicare beneficiaries, including in nursing homes and home visits. Here are the latest telehealth updates, plus news of free telehealth services and demand for telehealth providers.

Please Let Me Know If You’re Using Telehealth More, or for the First Time

Also, if you have recently started using telehealth, or have increased the use of telehealth, in response to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to hear from you! Please feel free to email me at malwan@LeadingAge.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

QuickCast on Telehealth 

Check out my recent Telehealth, Telemedicine & Remote Patient Monitoring QuickCast, which introduces telehealth and discusses the many new flexibilities to provide telehealth that are stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth Grant Opportunity

Applications are now open through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program to Support Healthcare Providers, which will help skilled nursing facilities and other nonprofit healthcare providers to purchase telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide connected care services, both for the treatment of coronavirus and other conditions that occur over the course of the pandemic. 

The FCC’s $200 million program will only help fund monitoring devices that are already connected and able to automatically share data, rather than unconnected devices that patients use at home, to share results with their medical professional remotely. The funds were included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Learn more about the application process, and apply today.

Contact Congress Today to Ask for Home Health Visits by Telehealth Providers

LeadingAge has issued an Action Alert, and we need your help. Congress is now developing the next COVID-19 relief package, and home health visits by telehealth need to be available. 

Home health agencies are a crucial discharge destination for the health care system, with hospitals needing every available bed to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. 

Urge Congress to expand home health emergency telehealth authority to allow for payment. It is critical that home health agencies be able to count telehealth visits as part of a unit of service, especially since they anticipate serving patients released from the hospital or sheltering at home with COVID-19. Please ask that Congress allow for home health telehealth visits to be equivalent to an in-person visit for the purposes of payment for the duration of the crisis.

Email your members of Congress today!

How to Increase Residents’ Connection During Social Distancing

During this time of social distancing, older adults may feel lonely and isolated. Technology can help. Check out these free social connectedness resources to keep your residents engaged. We include a CAST QuickCast by CAST Senior Director Scott Code, which highlights ways to leverage your existing technology, and other CAST resources.

AI Experts Needed to Research COVID-19

If you are an expert in artificial intelligence (AI), please join the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge (CORD-19) to help medical experts answer important questions about COVID-19. The dataset creators and the White House have issued a call to action for AI experts worldwide to develop text and data mining techniques to support the COVID-19 response.

Honors from McKnight’s

I am pleased to share that McKnight’s has named me one of 40 notable newsmakers as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. It’s a great honor to serve older adults and senior living providers pursuing tech innovations, as well as to share this recognition with other outstanding leaders in the aging field. 

Learn How to Implement a Robust Wireless Backbone

CAST Business Associate HealthSignals has released the second in its three-volume series of “Implementing a Robust Wireless Backbone: A Strategy for Senior Living.” Check out the Volume 2 e-book to learn exactly what a robust wireless backbone network is and how proper planning can help you avoid investing in an obsolete solution, provide strong security, and exceed tech-savvy residents' expectations. 

CAST Members Make News

Please check out the additional CAST members offering free services in response to COVID-19, as well as CAST members in the spotlight for new ventures and wise thought leadership.

Contact Me

If you have any questions, information, or news to share with CAST, or if I can be of assistance in any way, especially during these challenging times, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My thoughts remain with you!