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Housing and Dreams Delayed

Telehealth program brings health services to a community for older adults

Telehealth program brings health services to a community for older adults


Community Opportunity Fund

Newark, New Jersey

Can preventative health care services at a large affordable housing community reduce health care costs for residents and provide them with more disposable income, strengthening their ability to stay in their community?

The project with Community Opportunity Fund (COF) aims to leverage telehealth services to improve health outcomes for senior residents. The project provides on-site preventative health care, including measurement of vital signs and health assessments, and offers an opportunity for registered nurses to refer health matters that need additional medical attention.

With a contract award from Fannie Mae, the COF team was able to:

  • Hire Telehealth Technical Assistants and train Resident Services Coordinators to administer the telehealth program.
  • Launch the telehealth program, with over 200 residents participating.
  • Produce quarterly data showing trends in both quantitative and qualitative health care metrics.
  • Write a report evaluating the Telehealth Intervention Programs (TIPs) highlighting progress and results.

At the end of the contract with Fannie Mae, COF completed an analysis of the telehealth program. Over time, COF plans to expand the program to all residents of the property and to other Jonathon Rose Co. properties. They also plan to continue exploring opportunities to bill Medicare and Medicaid and other funding sources to reimburse for costs associated with the telehealth program.

Fannie Mae is supporting another year of project work with COF to build on the success of the first contract. The new contract expands on the existing concept to use TIPS Tech, a tool that provides residents with a Bluetooth-connected device to track their health at home. This will allow COF to track and test Medicare and Medicaid cost reimbursement models, because the device automatically captures and transmits the data required for telehealth reimbursement. The metrics and reporting structure is enhanced to measure how telehealth services and the presence of on-site resident services coordinators impact housing stability.

With continued support from Fannie Mae, the COF team will:

  • Continue the provision of telehealth services
  • Implement the TIPs Tech pilot to enable participants to proactively track their health at home
  • Test cost reimbursement for the at-home solution
  • Reduce hospitalizations, <30-day re-admissions, and health costs
  • Explore the impact of telehealth services on housing stability

Community Opportunity Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of residents of affordable housing by providing access to health, social services, education, culture, employment, and recreation programs. They measure the results and use the data to shift public policy and funding toward the creation of communities of opportunity for all Americans.

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