Addus Home Care has teamed up with Aetna Better Health of Illinois, an Aetna Medicaid plan, to conduct a pilot study on the impact of providing smart phones to home care aides serving Illinois residents participating in the state’s Integrated Care Program.
The care program provides assistance with meal preparation, bathing, housekeeping, and transportation, among other activities, to seniors and adults with disabilities who are Medicaid beneficiaries.
The Addus and Aetna pilot study will monitor whether having a smart phone benefits aides in reporting changing health conditions of ICP members in real time to supervisors and the members’ primary care physicians.
Addus Home Care Aides are in consumers’ homes on a frequent basis, the home- and community-based services provider notes, giving them the ability to observe changes in the physical, mental, and environmental conditions of their clients.
“Through the mobile device, we can really put the home care aide on the health care team,” said Mark Heaney, president and CEO of Addus. “Changes in an ICP participant’s condition can be communicated in real time, allowing for early identification and intervention by health plan case managers.”
ICP was implemented in 2011 by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and is the state’s first integrated health care program. It coordinates services across the continuum of care and can help prevent unnecessary health care utilization and costs, with goals that include preventing avoidable hospitalizations and improving management of chronic conditions.
Aetna Better Health and Addus Home Care administer the program, which currently operates in the DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Will, and suburban Cook counties of Illinois and encompasses 18,000 members.
Written by Alyssa Gerace