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February 21, 2022        


Individuals with disabilities can see a specialized doctor in minutes for urgent and behavioral health matters

[Pittsburgh, PA and Maplewood, N.J.]— Following a successful seven-month pilot using StationMD’s urgent care telemedicine service at all 40 residences, Mainstay Life Services (Mainstay) is expanding its partnership to offer StationMD’s behavioral health telemedicine services. The goal of this expansion is to:

  • Offer the persons served the best medical care options in the moments they need it most
  • Enhance quality of life for person served by reducing the trauma associated with hospital or urgent care visits
  • Help more efficiently deploy direct support professionals to meet the needs of those supported while managing staffing shortages
  • Reduce unnecessary healthcare costs

Mainstay provides residential and related support in Western Pennsylvania to children and adults with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families. StationMD is a specialized physician practice that uses telemedicine to deliver urgent medical care and behavior health services specifically to people with DD across the United States.

Since the launch of the partnership with StationMD in May 2021, Mainstay has seen an improvement in overall health and wellness of the people it supports, a reduction in unnecessary hospitalization and testing, and avoided thousands of dollars in transportation and staff overtime costs. As a result of this success, and to bolster more comprehensive care, Mainstay will now offer StationMD’s behavioral health telemedicine services to those who have a need.

Pilot Results

  • Since implementation, 55 telemedicine visits have been completed across 22 Mainstay homes.
  • 87% (47) of telemedicine visits resulted in an avoidable transfer to an ER or urgent care visit; assuming (based on diagnosis) 41% of visits would have resulted in an urgent care visit and 58% of visits would have resulted in an ER visit, we estimate that this saved the system of care $44,575.
  • If you assume that each visit would have required additional staff to accompany the individual (at least two hours for an urgent care visit and three hours for an ER visit plus travel), this would have saved an estimated $4,412 in unnecessary additional staffing.
  • This partnership avoided (32) unnecessary medical ER visits and (25) unnecessary urgent care visits. Considering the average cost (both ER/urgent care visit and the additional staffing), to date, we estimate to have saved $48,951 in the first seven months of this partnership. This savings is based on the publicly reported average cost of an ER visit and an average urgent care visit before insurance and additional staff costs.
  • If these estimates represent an average savings of around $8K per month, after the cost of StationMD’s service, we calculate the annual targeted savings to be around $82K per year.

“Our partnership with StationMD focuses on improving overall health outcomes for the people we support,” said Mainstay’s Chief Executive Officer Kim Sonafelt. “The partnership is helping us to enhance the quality of life for the people we support by reducing unnecessary hospital and urgent care visits and improving their experience of care by reducing trauma and anxiety that often comes with these visits. The partnership is also helping us to optimize our resources by minimizing the need to adjust staffing to accompany someone to the ER or urgent care. We are thrilled about this next phase of our relationship with StationMD.”

Dr. Maulik Trivedi, co-founding physician at StationMD said, “People with DD often have complex medical and behavioral issues that require immediate attention from a doctor. Just by offering people with DD a way to see a specialized doctor from home, anytime they need, it has a cascade of positive impacts. This partnership has improved the quality of life of Mainstay residents, their support staff and residents’ families by eliminating so many burdensome and costly barriers to health and wellness.”

StationMD can be used 24/7 for urgent matters like fever and vomiting, a seizure, a rash, or a fall, but also for someone who has a medical question, needs a prescription refilled, or for behavioral and mental health issues. In more than 90% of StationMD’s virtual consultations, the doctor can resolve an individual’s medical issue without them ever leaving the comfort and safety of home. This helps avoid trips to the ER and unnecessary testing and hospitalization, which can be traumatizing to someone with DD and can be prohibitively costly to the individual, their family, and to the healthcare system as a whole. 

Mainstay will continue implementing telemedicine services within all its residential services and will scale implementation for the calendar year 2022 to include StationMD’s Behavioral Health and Psychiatric Services.


About Mainstay Life Services
Mainstay Life Services provides life-long, high-quality supports to ensure that people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives and realize their vision of a desirable future. Mainstay currently supports 375+ people with developmental disabilities, and their families, throughout Allegheny and the surrounding counties. Services are provided through 24-hour full-care homes, supported living, home & community supports and lifesharing. Mainstay also provides behavioral supports and employment services. Mainstay is the only regional provider that specializes in services and supports for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. 

About StationMD
StationMD is a healthcare solution that delivers sophisticated medical care through telemedicine, offering immediate access at any time to high-quality, board-certified doctors who are specially trained in the care of individuals with developmental disabilities. Through HIPAA compliant two-way video technology, and with the use of Bluetooth medical tools, StationMD physicians can assess individuals in their home setting. They can provide treatment plan recommendations and quality medical care to keep patients safe, healthy and in place whenever possible. Learn more at www.StationMD.com and follow along via Twitter (@StationMD) and on Facebook and LinkedIn (StationMD).