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December 13, 2019

Lewiston home care service to deploy telehealth systems with $254K grant

Courtesy / Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice will deploy 250 additional telehealth units to enhance patient care in central and western Maine.

Lewiston-based Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice plans to buy and install 250 more remote monitoring systems for use by patients in central and western Maine, thanks to a $254,000 federal grant.

The recent award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program will allow Androscoggin to deploy the additional telehealth units in the homes of patients with chronic or serious illnesses.

“The grant will allow us to increase collaboration with referring providers to enhance care and decrease hospital readmissions for patients,” said Androscoggin President and CEO Ken Albert in a news release. “Telehealth monitoring will also allow us to be innovative in other types of care delivery like preeclampsia in pregnancy.”

The telehealth systems use video conferencing and other technology to share information and enhance communication among patients, physicians, hospital staff and other care providers. 

In 2018, nearly 1,800 patients received telemonitoring services from Androscoggin in collaboration with providers including St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Central Maine Healthcare, Stephens Memorial Hospital and Franklin Community Health Network. 

Of the patients, 75% used the telehealth systems for post-hospitalization care, while the technology assisted 25% of patients with self-management of chronic illnesses.

Albert said, “The research is clear: Telemonitoring is a proven strategy for managing chronic illness that benefits patients, families and the overall effectiveness of the health care delivery team.”

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