Business Briefs: GreatCall’s Wearable, NAHC-Relias Learning Partnership

GreatCall Introduces Lively Wearable Device

GreatCall Inc. introduced its Lively Wearable device, which it describes as a wearable health hub for the active aging market.

The Lively Wearable keeps track of the user’s steps and has a one-touch button to connect to 5Star service and a team of highly trained agents in emergency situations.

The Lively Wearable also involves family caregivers via the Link app. Caregivers can follow the user’s virtual journey, and they can send messages of encouragement and applaud positive events. The Link app on the device also notifies the family caregiver if the user hits the button for help, providing notification of the call and their location while also connecting the user to a highly trained emergency response team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Lively Wearable may be worn with either the wristband or around the neck with the lanyard and pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The device is anticipated to be available at in Spring 2016 and at retail Summer 2016. The device retails for $99.99 and service begins at $14.99 per month with no contract.

Presently, the Lively Wearable works with every Android 4.3 BLE phone. GreatCall said it expects iOS support is coming in Summer 2016.

“What makes the Lively Wearable unique is that it is designed to fit the needs of both the older adult and the family caregiver, something we have found to be critical to adoption,” said David Inns, CEO of GreatCall. “This announcement comes on the heels of GreatCall’s acquisition of Lively Inc. We’ve taken the energy of the Lively name and, building on a decade of research and consumer insight, applied it to this innovative new wearable that truly makes a difference in living a safer, more active life.”

CareCentrix Selects athenahealth’s athenaCoordinator for EHR Connectivity and Order Placements

Hartford, Connecticut-based CareCentrix announced it has partnered with athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based services and mobile applications for health systems and medical groups. The partnership connects athenahealth’s electronic health record (EHR) to CareCentrix via athenaCoordinator, a care coordination service, allowing athenahealth clients to send durable medical equipment orders to CareCentrix electronically.

“One of our priorities is to leverage new technologies so that we can better care for our patients and help them heal at home,” CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll said. “We are pleased to connect to athenaCoordinator, so that we can more conveniently and efficiently address any changes in a patient’s health, allowing them to receive quality home care services.”

CareCentrix connects patients with the care they need at home via a national network of more than 8,000 credentialed provider locations. CareCentrix provides access to quality home care for more than 23 million people by connecting patients with providers and helping patients navigate the complex home care system.

Relias Learning and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice Announce Strategic Partnership

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), a nonprofit organization that represents the country’s 35,000 home care and hospice organizations, and Relias Learning, a leader in online training and compliance solutions for the health care market, have announced a strategic partnership to offer a wide range of online training and education solutions for the home care and hospice community.

NAHC Chairman Denise Schrader said that NAHC will continue to provide and expand its educational components, but will meet its initiative to find and train thousands of employees who offer quality home care and hospice services with help from Relias Learning through Home Care University, a division of NAHC’s Foundation for Hospice and Homecare.

“We intend to help solve what the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees as the most critical employment need the nation faces in the near future–highly skilled and caring, in-home nurses, aides and therapists,” Schrader said.

As part of the new partnership, NAHC and Relias will offer training courses and solutions via Home Care University. NAHC members will be eligible for exclusive discounts on Relias products, such as their industry-leading learning management system and home health training solutions.

Home Care University offers accreditation for agencies that do not take part in Medicaid or Medicare and certification for home care executives.

Zeke Emanuel Joins Oak HC/FT as Venture Partner

Oak HC/FT, a leading venture growth-equity fund investing in health care information and financial technology companies, has appointed Ezekiel “Zeke” J. Emanuel as Venture Partner. Emanuel is expected to provide unique expertise around the American health care system to advise the company as well as current and potential partners, including portfolio company executives and entrepreneurs.

“Zeke’s passion for transitioning the healthcare system to higher quality and lower costs is completely aligned with our firm’s mission and purpose,” said Annie Lamont, managing partner at Oak HC/FT. “We are thrilled that Zeke has joined our growing team to provide deep expertise on each aspect of the American healthcare system. Together we will work towards enhancing the impact of our companies and entrepreneurs to fix the system for patients of all ages.”

Emanuel is an oncologist and has served as an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and then chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Since 2011, Zeke has been at the University of Pennsylvania working as the vice provost of Global Initiatives, the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, as well as the Diane and Robert Levy University Professor, where he will continue to serve in all roles.

Emanuel has also advocated several policy objectives that have been adopted by CMS, including bundled payments for cancer care, mandatory bundled payments for knee and hip replacements, and payment reform for end-of-life care.

Sun Health Names Terri Cluff Executive Director of Sun Health at Home

Terri Cluff has been named executive director of Sun Health at Home, a nonprofit “continuing care at home” program offering highly personalized programs and services to help seniors remain in their homes as they age.

Sun Health at Home is a program offered through Surprise, Arizona-based Sun Health Senior Living.

In her new role, Cluff is expected to oversee operations and growth of the program, the first of its kind in the southwestern United States.

“Terri’s long and varied experience in the senior living and health care industries makes her a tremendous addition to our team as we break new ground in Arizona with Sun Health at Home,” Sun Health Executive Vice President of Population Health Jennifer Drago said.

Previously, Cluff has worked as the regional director of sales and marketing for the Goodman Group, a national developer and manager of senior living, health care and residential communities.

Her background also includes owning and operating a home health agency in Arizona for 12 years.

Arizona Hospital Divests Itself of Home Health Care Services

Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford, Arizona, has announced it will no longer perform home health services. Legacy Home Health Care of Southern Arizona, LLC, is set to take over the home health services, though the hospital plans to continue to provide hospice service.

Legacy is an independently owned and operated home health agency headquartered in Sierra Vista, Arizona, serving the state’s Pima and Cochise counties.

Visiting Nurse Association Corp. of Kansas City Names New CEO

The Visiting Nurse Association Corp. of Kansas City has named Brad Evans as its new CEO following Rich Roberson’s announcement that he will retire from the company after 35 years.

Evans previously worked for Kindred Healthcare Inc. in Minneapolis, focusing on hospice care as area vice president of operations.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson