Business Journal Features Loretto Health's New TeliStat™ Unit

By Eric Reinhardt

Date: 4/24/2018 3:11 PM

Full Article

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center in Syracuse on Monday opened its new TeliStat restorative-care unit (TRCU).

In a news release, Loretto describes the unit as “the first of its kind in Central New York.”

Loretto is hiring registered nurses (RNs), a program director, care coordinator, medical director, and a cardiologist to staff the TRCU, the organization said.

Specifically, Loretto is hiring 26 new RNs, Julie Sheedy, VP of marketing, at Loretto, said in an email reply to a BJNN inquiry. Of those positions, 22 are filled and Loretto is accepting applications for the remaining four open positions, according to Sheedy.

Loretto describes itself as the “sixth largest” employer in Central New York.

The purpose of the TRCU, and Loretto’s investment in people and equipment, is to augment and modernize its rehabilitation services, the organization’s leader says.

“Our goal for this new unit is to embrace innovative medical technology to enhance our rehabilitation services,” Kimberly Townsend, president and CEO at Loretto, said in the release. “Bringing this level of care to Loretto gives cardiac patients the opportunity to complete their rehab at a lower cost and reduces their risk of rehospitalization.”

With the new skilled nursing staff and medical team in place, the rehabilitation facility will be able to maintain a patient-to-RN-ratio of about 6-to-1, “well above industry standards,” with additional support coming from certified nursing assistants.

The nonprofit Loretto is a health-care organization providing services for older adults throughout Central New York. The organization serves close to 10,000 individuals each year through 19 programs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties.

About the TRCU

The new, 25-bed unit has portable monitors that track “multiple” health risks in real-time. Loretto provides residents in the short-term rehabilitation program with a portable Wi-Fi biometric monitor, which registers real-time data. It also allows them to access physicians “any time of day or night.”

Dr. Anthony Bacchi, who Loretto describes as an “innovative health-care leader in New York,” developed the TRCU concept and associated proprietary technology.

Bacchi was founder and chairman of New York City–based MagnaCare LLC, the “third largest provider network in New York, covering 1.4 million lives,” according to, the website for TeliStat.

Through this technology and the additional medical staff, Loretto can care for hospital patients recovering from “major” cardiac surgery and diagnoses requiring hemodynamics and telemonitoring. Loretto will work with St. Joseph’s Health, Crouse Hospital, and Upstate University Hospital to serve patients.

“Alarming national trend”

Bacchi created the initial TRCU concept and Townsend implemented the new “tech-savvy” unit at Loretto “in response to an alarming national trend,” the organization said.

More than 20 percent of Medicare patients discharged to a skilled-nursing facility “return to the hospital within 30 days.” The federal government estimates this translates to $17 billion that could be saved with “proper” patient care.

Once Dr. Bacchi developed the TRCU concept, he opened a prototype site in the Hudson Valley in early 2015. This site has a readmission rate of under 5 percent, “a fraction of the national average,” per the release.

“We are excited for the Loretto unit to open as it brings previously unavailable services to the Syracuse community by effectively treating more complex patients in place with Loretto’s highly skilled interdisciplinary team and state of the art technology,” Bacchi said.

Loretto is now the sixth location in New York using TRCU, according to the release. The telemedicine technology, combined with the skilled nursing staff and a medical team, “empower” Loretto to provide “much-needed” care while helping to “decrease hospital readmission rates and associated costs in Central New York.”

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