For two senior living facilities, Maple Knoll Communities and United Methodist Communities, the decision to apply for Federal Communications Commission (FCC)COVID-19 telehealth funding was reflexive. This attention to instinct paid off, as collectively these organizations were granted over $1 million in federal funding.
Both organizations sought to establish robust virtual care programs, using FCC funding to launch these initiatives. As both organizations prepared to submit their intensive applications, they looked to their technology partner, Netsmart, for assistance in securing the funds that would allow them to innovate care delivery amid and beyond crisis.
Foundation for funding
While both organizations stipulated their goal of implementing virtual care programs within their respective organizations, they took different routes to enact this mode of care.
Maple Knoll Communities submitted a proposal to purchase telehealth carts and software for both their skilled and assisted living areas, with the program ultimately extending to independent residents, as well.
While Maple Knoll Communities focused on a specific strategy within their application, United Methodist Communities proposed a broad path to virtual care, with their ultimate goal of reducing hospital readmission rate among community inhabitants.
With communities spread throughout the much-impacted state of New Jersey, United Methodist Communities also proposed specific processes for residents directly impacted by COVID-19, such as remote monitoring.
As with any federal grant application, applying for CARES Act funding is a complex process that demands collaboration and panoramic forethought.
When submitting their application, Maple Knoll Communities looked to Netsmart for assistance with the technical.
“Netsmart provided us the information needed to show why we wanted/needed the funding,” said Mark Plunkett, Corporate Director of Information Technologies. “[They] provided quotes, product information, scopes of works and assisted us in answering follow-up questions we received from our initial application.”
For Plunkett, this informational collaboration with Netsmart was key to the organization’s successful application for funding.
For United Methodist Communities, time was truly at a premium, as COVID-19 cases spiked across the state. Working closely with Netsmart, the organization was able to submit their application within the span of a week and became one of the first organizations to see their application accepted.
Travis Gleinig, Director of IT, recalls Netsmart’s support, noting how responsive the entire team was. They were “a great partner the whole way through,” said Gleinig.
How can my organization apply?
As both organizations were ultimately allocated funding for their virtual care programs, they possess valuable advice for other communities considering applying for CARES Act funding. These suggestions include:
Lastly, Gleinig encourages all interested organizations to apply for funding, regardless of expected outcome. “Every little bit helps,” Gleinig reminds potential applicants. “There’s no downside.”
For both communities, the allocations from the CARES Act yielded the creation of robust virtual care programs. This enthusiasm for innovation is not unique to organizational leaders, however.
At Maple Knoll Village, residents, too, have embraced new technology like TikTok, bringing levity to heavy times and reminding us all of the connective power of progress.
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