Frequently Asked Questions...
What to know about Unity HealthCall PERS Technology
1. How does a PERS work?
2. What exactly is the "emergency response center," and where is it located in proximity to my loved one?
3. Who gets notified in the event of an emergency?
4. If my loved one is in trouble, and is not in the same room as the PERS console, how will they be heard?
5. Do PERS have the capability to work outside?
6. How will emergency personnel get into my loved one's home?
7. What happens if the electricity goes out?
8. Can I set-up the PERS for my loved one, or does it have to be professionally installed?
9. Does my loved one need a special phone jack in order to have a PERS?
10. Can my loved one take their PERS with them if they move?
11. What happens if my loved one accidentally sets-off the alarm?
12. What if my loved one lives in a remote, rural area? Is there coverage available?
13. What's the total cost of a PERS?
14. What type of contract or agreement must be signed for service?
15. Are PERS covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance companies?
16. Is it possible for me to order a PERS for my loved one, but have the bill sent to me?
17. What other features do PERS offer?
18. How often is my loved one billed?
How does a PERS work?
How it works is quite simple, involving only three components: a small radio transmitter (a light-weight, battery-powered "help" button that can be carried on a belt or in a pocket, or worn by the user on a chain around the neck or on a wrist band); a console connecting to the user's telephone; and an emergency response center that monitors these types of calls. When emergency help is needed, such as medical, fire, or police, the PERS user can press the transmitter's "help" button, sending a radio signal to the console (connected to the user's telephone). This causes the console to automatically dial one or more pre-selected emergency telephone numbers. When an emergency response center is contacted, the caller is identified, allowing the center to determine the nature of the emergency, review the caller's medical history, and notify the appropriate medical professionals and/or family/caregiver. If the center can not contact the caller or determine whether an actual emergency exists, they will notify emergency providers to go to the caller's home, monitoring the situation until the problem is resolved. Most "help" buttons are waterproof, and can be worn in the shower or pool.
What exactly is the "emergency response center," and where is it located in proximity to my loved one?
The Unity Healthcall's emergency response center is located in Syracuse, NY and support Monroe county and the surrounding areas. The emergency response center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.
Who gets notified in the event of an emergency?
At the time your loved one is first setup with a PERS, a client information form will be completed. The profile will contain important information of anyone on the contact list. If no one on the contact list can be reached, emergency services will be dispatched. Information for the contact list includes: Name, Relationship, Keyholder, Home, Work, Cell, Pager. The client information form also includes your loved one's medical conditions, allergies, prescribed medications, and any special instructions.
If my loved one is in trouble, and not in the same room as the PERS console, how will they be heard?
Most consoles are quite sensitive, and in an average-sized home, the emergency response center is usually able to communicate with your loved one regardless of what room they're in. However, there are times when it may not be possible to communicate with a loved one because of the extent of an emergency, therefore, medical emergency professionals like paramedics will be immediately dispatched to your loved one's home.
Do PERS have the capability to work outside?
Yes, Unity HealthCall offers a mobile GPS unit that allows for free range inside and outside your loved ones home.
How will emergency personnel get into my loved one's home?
If emergency personnel need to be called to your loved one's home, the emergency response center will contact any friends, neighbors, or family members from your loved one's contact list that have a key to their home, and who live close enough to meet a rescue team at your loved one's door. If there is lockbox information in the subscriber profile, the monitoring center will also inform emergency services of its location.
What happens if the electricity goes out?
The PERS have a battery back-up that will operate the unit for several hours after a power outage. When the power is restored, the battery automatically recharges, and is then ready for any additional power outages.
Can I set-up the PERS for my loved one, or does it have to be a professionally installed?
It is recommended to be professionally installed and tested. As apart of our service Unity HealthCall will install, test, and education your loved one on the use of the PERS device. After installation HealthCall will contiue to provide technical support for the term of its usage free of charge.
Does my loved one need a special phone jack in order to have a PERS?
It's not necessary to have any special type of jack or wiring. Usually a regular, modular phone jack is all that's needed in order to plug the console into, and it will not affect the phone or any other item plugged into the jack. What if my loved one has a cell phone only? Will the PERS still work? Unity HealthCall's mobile PERS unit can be used in this applcation. The mobile unit comes with a small communication cellular device that the subscriber will use instead of a wired console.
Can my loved one take their PERS with them if they move?
Unity HealthCall ask for verbal notification within 24 hours of a move, in order to update your loved one's file with the new address and telephone number.
What happens if my loved one accidentally sets-off the alarm?
If this should occur, your loved one needs to tell the emergency response center operator that the alarm has been set-off accidently. The operator will then disconnect the alarm and no further action would be taken.
What if my loved one lives in a remote, rural area? Is there coverage available?
Yes, all that is required is that your loved one have telephone service available in their area.
What is the total cost of a PERS?
The HealthCall PERS system are rented at a monthly rate. There are no long term contracts and no hidden fees.
What type of contract or agreement must be signed for service?
Unity HealthCall requires a Subscriber Agreement to be signed at time of installation. The agreement includes our responsibilities to the subscriber and the subscriber's obligations to HealthCall. After the agreement is signed your loved one can cancel service anytime, without penalty or cancellation fees, and with just a 30 day notification.
Are PERS covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance companies?
No, but if your loved one has insurance with MVP there are "HealthDollars" the can apply towards the monthly cost of the PERS.
Is it possible for me to order a PERS for my loved one, but have the bill sent to me?
Yes HealthCall has no problem with this, requiring billing instructions and information pertaining to you instead of your loved one.
What other features do PERS offer?
Some of the systems include daily reminder notification, regarding medications, and appointments, speed and direct dial. Some have the ability to add devices that will monitor smoke and heat detection, and flooding as well in the home.
How often is my loved one billed?
Invoices are sent out monthly by Unity HealthCall. Credit Card automatic debiting is also available.