OPRS receives grant to battle readmits

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Verizon Foundation has given a $23,000 grant to Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services to expand its Home to Stay program, including to skilled nursing residents.

The program helps reduce hospital readmissions and debuted in 2013 through OPRS subsidiary Senior Independence. A registered nurse or licensed practical nurse visits a patient within 72 hours of hospital discharge, with a follow-up within seven to 10 days. The nurse reviews medications, takes vital signs and confirms appointments.

It is offered at no cost to patients in the Northwest Ohio Accountable Care Organization. In the program's first year, there was a 3.4% hospital return rate, compared to a regional average of 14.5%.

The program also includes telehealth, which provides patients with glucose monitoring, pulse checking and other health measurements. Monitoring equipment sends data via a computer tablet to a nurse at Senior Independence.

The next step for the program is to work with SNF partners, according to Wendy Price Kiser, the executive director of Senior Independence. One of the critical parts is working on medication reconciliation and having RN coaches educate residents. 

“The outcomes have been so dramatic for serving individuals in their home,” she told McKnight's. “Verizon has been awesome in overseeing the telemonitoring component.”

Verizon has shown a long-standing commitment to the Toledo, OH-based provider, OPRS CEO Laurence C. Gumina added.

“As we continue to innovate to further our commitment within our respective communities, Verizon Wireless allows us to do this together,” he added.