While living with complex health, it is not uncommon to be prescribed a set of medications that all together are not best for the patient. It can be hard to track each medication and its effects. Even more difficult is having to discuss side issues with a clinician. NPR has published an article which helps to provide ways in which patients can approach their doctors about their troublesome prescriptions (click here). The Ibis Program tracks all medications that its members take. When new medications are prescribed, a clinician or a pharmacist looks at the total medication plan with an eye towards better alternatives. It is a good start to addressing the overmedication and adverse effects problems.
A boom in remote online healthcare is just around the corner. However, some of Maine's more rural areas are experiencing issues in broadband coverage and overall internet infrastructure, which is creating obstacles for the growth of telehealth. This problem is detailed in the Portland Press Herald's article, "Maine Still Waiting for Internet Health Care Revolution." Despite these challenges, Senscio Systems chooses to view this issue as an opportunity rather than a dilemma. We have been working with Redzone Wireless to expand internet coverage to more rural regions of Maine, helping to provide online care to residents who were previously left with no telehealth options.
Senscio Systems’ partners UMaine and UNE have recently been awarded nearly $3.75 million to embark on a new elder care initiative together called AgingME. As the population ages, there will be a greater need for a healthcare system that provides more health care in the home, using digital technologies to assess health and to intervene. This will require an evolution of the current health care workforce. Although the Ibis Program is not directly involved in this grant, Senscio Systems praises its partners for their leadership in delivering new models for care delivery, transforming the workforce to meet the needs of the digital age, and the use of technology to improve the lives and conditions of our aging population. Click for more details from UMaine and UNE regarding this program.
A new article provided by the University of New England details its exciting collaboration with Senscio Systems. Through internships, UNE students are able to learn about and gain experience working with digital health and chronic care management. Click here to read the full article.
Maine is moving towards improving its “step-therapy” medical protocol, which gives insurers the ability to provide the cheapest medications to patients rather than the most effective ones. Under step-therapy, the most applicable medications are only given if the first prescriptions fail. Critics of this system claim that it is unethical to risk a patient’s health in order to save insurers’ money. Although legislature doesn’t completely outlaw the practice of step therapy, it demands more transparency between doctors and patients regarding the process. Furthermore, the new law will make it easier for patients to appeal step-therapy treatment in light of discomfort with their current prescriptions. Ibis always stands with patients' rights and believes wholly in the power of choice. Click here to learn more about this story.
On June 13, 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into effect LD 1263, titled “An Act Regarding Telehealth.” This bill expands coverage for telehealth services to include any in-person service that can be delivered through technology. The greatest beneficiaries of this policy are those who are elderly or disabled with complex health, as their mobility challenges create barriers to receiving optimal care. Thanks to this legislation, remote care services including those delivered by the Ibis Program, will be available to more Mainers. In our humble opinion, Maine is moving in the right direction and showing us the way to provide health care that is more inclusive and fair. For more about this story click here.
Signed into effect on June 12, 2019 by Maine Governor Janet Mills, bill “LD 1313,” or the “Death with Dignity Act,” legalized procedures which allow terminally-ill patients to arrange a medically-assisted end-of-life. While our Ibis Program works hard to improve the quality of life for our members, we also believe in the power of choice. At the Ibis Program, we believe that our members know their mental and physical health better than anybody else. The Ibis care team respects all of our member's informed choices and supports them always with compassion, empathy and the means to pursue their highest level of self-sufficiency, happiness and opportunity.
For more on this story, see the full article below:
Praised as a new and innovative healthcare program, Senscio Systems' Ibis Program is featured in a full page article in "The Voice", the newsletter of the Retired State, County and Municipal Employees Association of Massachusetts that is mailed to over 36,000 of the Association's active members. The article cites the Ibis Program as the solution for chronically-ill patients to remain independent at home. As Medicare expands to help cover such programs, Senscio Systems is at the forefront of this paradigm shift in healthcare. The full article appears here:
For more from The Voice visit: www.massretirees.com/the-voice
CMS proposed to reimburse home healthcare agencies for remote patient monitoring, in a move to further make the home the hub of healthcare. Our CEO Piali De, PhD discusses the takeaways with Managed Healthcare Executive.