Encounter’s President & CEO, Jen Amis, was among five industry leaders to participate in the McKnight’s Power Panel: Succeeding Despite the 2020 Pandemic held on June 10, 2020.
Jen was joined by executives from PointClickCare, eSolutions, ABILITY Network, and HealthPro Heritage. The panel discussion surrounded the topic of healthcare hurdles in senior living due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what the future of senior living will look like in a post-pandemic world. Much of the panel discussion was spent discussing the vital need for telehealth during the lock-downs at skilled nursing facilities and long-term care communities.
You can view the Panel Discussion and download a complimentary eBook here. Below are some key takeaways from the event:
Q: How optimistic are you about the future of senior living? What are your concerns going forward?
JEN: “Our partner facilities were underfunded pre-COVID. When the virus hit, the gross increase in expenses for PPE and the reduction in move-in rates all had a harsh impact. Last year in Nebraska, where we’re based, we saw 15 facility closures. I’m also really concerned about not only the mental health of our residents and facility staff, but across the board, so we are very focused on improving access to mental healthcare using a telehealth platform. What I’m optimistic about is the expanded access to care through telehealth platforms and the expanded insurance coverage. The waivers from CMS are removing restrictions like geographic and site requirements and I do not see these going away.”
Q: Have any previously underappreciated benefits of telehealth emerged?
JEN: “I read numerous articles on healthcare systems that have grown their telehealth encounters exponentially since March — from 700 in a month to 7,000 in a week — which shows that the adoption on both the provider and patient side is going to potentially become the primary delivery platform. Certainly this is going to be the case for long-term care, as we look to limit the individual’s risks — especially those with compromised systems who go to the
doctor’s office and are exposed to other individuals. Many people bring up the generation gap when it comes to technology and whether older patients will be able to adjust to telehealth. Study after study has shown that it really just doesn’t make that much difference. Older people acclimate quickly to the ease of telehealth services, and if they can’t, they often have a nurse, social worker or care provider there to assist with the technology. Many of our residents get excited about their telehealth appointments. We have heard reports of many of our elder female clients going to a hair appointment to look nice when they see Dr. Beckett.
One of the things our business has always been focused on is bringing psychiatric and mental healthcare to rural communities where there is no care. We are usually the first provider going in, and now we can work with these individuals more specifically on their ongoing plan and their hyper vigilance to help reduce that risk of exposure.
“Older people acclimate quickly to the ease of telehealth services, and if they can’t, they often have a nurse, social worker, or care provider there to assist.”
— Jen Amis, President & CEO of Encounter Telehealth
This panel discussion is filled with expert advice and experience, including predictions for the future of healthcare in senior living communities. Please download your complimentary eBook at https://www.mcknights.com/resources/reports/mcknights-power-panel-succeeding-despite-the-2020-pandemic/
This event was moderated by James Berklan, Executive Editor at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.
For more questions about telehealth and what Encounter can do for you, please contact us.