DHEC promotes virtual visitation grant for nursing homes

Alabama's State Health Officer is updating us on the toll the pandemic is taking on nursing...
Alabama's State Health Officer is updating us on the toll the pandemic is taking on nursing home facilities and how health leaders are trying to allow people to visit safely.(WBRC)
Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:08 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is providing more resources for families to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DHEC said it’s now supporting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ COVID-19 Communicative Technology grand opportunity.

The grant provides $3,000 for nursing homes to purchase tablets, tripods and other accessories to help connect at-risk residents with their families.

RELATED: Gov. McMaster orders DHEC to postpone allowing limited visitation in nursing homes

“The COVID-19 Communicative Technology opportunity has been a great success and is something that will directly improve the quality of life for residents and reduce feelings of isolation,” said Nick Ruden, the State CMS Funding Coordinator for DHEC. “The benefits of this funding cannot be underestimated as deep connections and emotional enrichment are pillars of strength for these residents while visitor restriction safety measures are in place. We highly encourage our nursing homes to take advantage of this impactful federal funding opportunity.”

DHEC said 91 nursing homes in the state have been approved for the funding, CMS guidelines state the devices can be shared between up to 10 residents. Nursing home staff will also disinfect the devices after each use.

DHEC is also encouraging other nursing homes in South Carolina to apply for the grant.

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