Home Care

In 1997, the Center worked on a collaborative effort between the University and Albemarle Home Care to investigate home health care via telemedicine, using telephone-based videoconferencing technology (supported by the Office of Rural Health Policy). This three-year home telemedicine pilot built the foundation for a larger home health program to be conducted with Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH). The Center provided technical direction for a telehome program initiated at University Home Care (UHC), a PCMH agency. The initial goals for the project were to improve patient access to home health providers, reduce the number of real or perceived health crises requiring hospitalization or emergency room visits, and reduce preventable health status deteriorations associated with long term care. Jointly, Center and UHC staff have presented their results to numerous statewide and national audiences. The Center's report on financial aspects of rural telehome care (2002), along with several other national projects, assisted in the development of guidelines and reimbursement fees for home telemedicine. UHC has increased its home telemedicine units to 48 after its recent affiliation with Albemarle Home Health. The Center continues to collaborate with UHC, providing technical assistance, hosting UHC visitors, and discussing the development and diffusion of home health technologies and practices.