hands folded over a cane

Humana, VRI to pilot enhanced medical alert systems for Medicare members

Humana and Valued Relationships, Inc. (VRI), a leading provider of home health monitoring services, are partnering on a national pilot aimed at preventing the serious long-term effects of medical emergencies and falls, and reducing unnecessary hospital admissions, readmissions and emergency room visits.

In late July, Humana began providing a free personal emergency response system, called “PERS,” to Medicare Advantage members identified by the company’s national chronic care management division, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge. About 500 Humana Medicare members nationwide will participate in the six-month pilot.

“We know that a third of people over age 65 fall at least once a year, and nearly half cannot get up without help,” said Gail Miller, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge Vice President of Telephonic Clinical Operations. “Our goal is to continue to find ways to help our Medicare members stay longer and safer in their homes. Humana believes a medical alert system can help our members who are at risk of falls, and give their caregivers and family members peace of mind at the same time.”

The VRI medical alert system is easy to use. A member simply pushes a button on the device and a Care Center representative answers the call and gets the help needed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. VRI also uses the device to track motion and is alerted if the device senses a lack of activity that may signal a health emergency.

“We are excited to work with Humana to show that when proven, low-cost medical alerts are combined with innovative monitoring processes and fall technologies, health-care organizations can improve care and reduce costs associated with hospitalizations,” said Andy Schoonover, President of VRI.

Using state-of-the-art technology, the PERS device:

  • Automatically detects when someone wearing the device falls and calls them to see if they’re OK.
  • Uses GPS-tracking to help find the member if he/she can’t call out or doesn’t answer calls.
  • Can work like a two-way, hands-free radio anyplace where AT&T’s cellular network is active.
  • VRI is providing the monitoring of the systems through trained responders at its call center in Franklin, Ohio.

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