SafetyCare gets PERS biz in Penn.

Also announces partnership with WestRock
Saturday, September 1, 2007

READING, Penn.--SafetyCare Technologies, a home security monitoring and medical emergency assistance company, announced Aug. 3 its approval as an official provider of Personal Emergency Response Systems for Pennsylvania's Department of Aging Waiver Program. SafetyCare will offer its monitoring services to qualified seniors with payment provided through Medicaid. "This service saves Medicaid a lot money," said Andy Boyle, manager of government programs for SafetyCare. "It provides a service that allows seniors to stay out of nursing homes when they'd rather stay at home anyway."
Qualified seniors will be equipped with wireless transmitters, in the form of a pendant or belt clip, which communicates with the stationary receiver mounted in the house. When the transmitter is activated, seniors can communicate with operators at the central station. "The biggest feature of our services is that all our operators are certified EMTs and are trained to handle emergency situations," Boyle said.
Although SafetyCare has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, it must gain certification from every county. Boyle anticipates the certification process to be complete by October depending on how quickly counties process the paperwork. Boyle was unable to estimate how many new accounts this certification will add to SafetyCare's portfolio.
SafetyCare also announced in late July a partnership with WestRock, a health care and security equipment provider based in Kansas City, Mo. WestRock installs devices in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, assisted-living facilities and long-term care units in the Midwest.
Said Jim Todd, manager of WestRock's electronics division, "The more we looked, the more we realized that SafetyCare had been on the market for a long time. It had a lot of features that none of our competitors had. In our particular market, our competitors were using the same products from the exact same wireless company and then said they were better than anyone else's. They were all driving a Chevy, just a different color." But SafetyCare was different, according to Todd. "They were one of the first to go to wireless call systems in nursing homes that really met the need at a high level of acuity."
According to SafetyCare general manager Mike Bodnar, that remains the core of his company's direction. "We're adding an extra layer of protection to roll over emergency calls from the facility to the central station, where we have EMTs on staff to answer calls." In WestRock's case, the company has its own proprietary software to manage the system.
"With Jim's management system, if there's calls in the queue, the EMTs at SafetyCare can be made aware of the situation," said Bodnar. "It could be providing EMT triage coverage, we can be a back-up redundancy to the system put in by WestRock, at any senior care type environment. It makes patients feel more secure, because it adds an extra layer of reliability and it lessens the senior care center's liability." Added Bodnar, "Because let's face it, we're in a litigious society nowadays."
Look for SafetyCare to continue to establish partnerships with installers around North America.
"What we've done with TeleAlarm's acquisition of SafetyCare (search "TeleAlarm acquires SafetyCare" at," said Bodnar, "is we have a strong group of existing distributors under TeleAlarm, a handpicked group of individuals we want to continue with. We're calling our distributors 'authorized partners.' As an authorized partner, we are looking to create a valued shared partnership. It's a stronger relationship, with a package for distribution." Bodnar stated, "We remain and will stay a distribution-based organization."