Tom: Good Morning...This is Tom Antonaccio from the Providence VA Medical Center and with me today is Peg Dyer, who is the
Program Director for Home Telehealth. Peg is going to tell us a little bit about our Home Telehealth Program. Good morning, Peg.
Peg: Good morning, Tom
Tom: Let me start by asking: What is Home Telehealth?
Peg: Home Telehealth in the VA is a program designed to allow our Veterans to receive some of their healthcare in their homes. It basically allows us to promote self management using Telehealth technology. In addition, it provides more access for the Veteran to his/her provider.
Tom: Is this a new program?
Peg: No, Tom. The program began in 2006, so it's 4 years old.
Tom: Is this program available to all eligible Veterans? In other words, who might actually benefit from Home Telehealth care?
Peg: We do have written criteria, and I have some of that criteria with me here; I’d like to share it with you.
a. Veterans who have been admitted to the hospital 2 or more times over the past year;
b. Veterans who frequently visit the emergency room;
c. Veterans who take several medications or have difficulty managing their medications;
d. Other Veterans who may benefit are those diagnosed with asthma, diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, and lung disease.
Tom: That’s fairly large population—I guess it’s pretty timely that we’re doing this broadcast. Do eligible Veterans need to have special equipment or a certain type of telephone to participate in the Home Telehealth Program?
Peg: The Veteran is given a Health Buddy appliance to use in the comfort of his or her home. Set up is easy: simply connect the health Buddy to an ordinary phone line and plug it into and electrical outlet. It is as simple as hooking up an answering machine. The VA provides all the equipment free of charge for this program, which includes the health Buddy and a blood pressure cuff or scale, if needed.
Tom: So once a Veteran is accepted into the program, all the necessary equipment is provide?
Peg: That’s right, Tom
Tom: Who would the Veteran contact to find out if he/she would benefit from Home Telehealth care or just to find out more information about
Peg: They can call me or speak to their provider during their next visit. My number is (401) 273-7100, extension 6139. If I am not in the office, leave your name and telephone number, and I will return your call. You can also get more information on this program by logging on to www.telehealth.va.gov/ccht/index.asp.
Tom: Let’s make sure we got it. They can speak with their provider or call you direct at (401) 273-7100, extension 6139, and that website
again is www.telehealth.va.gov/ccht/index.asp and you mentioned they should click the “Home (Remote Monitoring) Telehealth” link.
Peg: That’s correct
Tom: Thank you, Peg, for taking the time to talk with me today. This concludes our segment on the Home Telehealth Program. This is Tom Antonaccio along with Peg Dyer, Program Director for Home Telehealth, saying so long from the Providence VA Medical Center.