Alliance Executive Director Pat Kelleher presented testimony before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, along with seven member agencies, including: Partners Home Care, Caritas Home Care, VNA of Boston, VNA of Middlesex-East, VNA of Cape Cod, Hallmark Home Health, and Brandon Woods Home Care. Philips Telehealth also joined the Alliance’s effort in support of the legislation and Senator Harriette Chandler, who submitted the bill, brought in VNA Care Network to demonstrate remote patient monitoring equipment for the committee.
Telehealth provides an ideal answer to the questions of how to care for an aging population, deal with a health care workforce shortage, and lower ballooning health care costs in the midst of a recession. According to a report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 are heading towards retirement age and “self –care technologies and programs will be increasingly needed to meet the needs of this nation’s aging population – especially in light of a continuing health care labor shortage.” (Technology-Enabled Care at Home, Deloitte, 2008). To further illustrate that point, Johns Hopkins University reported that 90 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have one or more chronic diseases.