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Is it PERS or Medical Alert and which contract is needed
June 27,  2024
Is it PERS or Medical Alert and which contract is needed
      We install and monitor medical alarm pull cords for senior apartment buildings but do not currently have individual systems. The systems we install operate more like an elaborated nurse call, or like a security system with medical alarm reporting upon alarm instead of burglar alarm reporting. They also are only larger systems for the entire property and not stand alone systems for each apartment or residential user. The contract is with the property owner and they are UL medical alarm systems.
       I wanted to check and see if this would be covered under your PERS SALE contract, or would it be more of a modification we need to assess in house regarding adding medical alarm reporting on the Commercial Security All-In-One?
Thank you,
            PERS is a much broader term than Medical Alert.  PERS can include medical alert; medical alert should not include PERS.  PERS is personal emergency response system.  It can include a panic alarm, which is security; it can include a GPS finder, which is security; and it can include medical alert, which is not typically included in security alarm systems.
            Medical Alert is a signal for someone needing medical assistance.  Operators receiving a medical alert signal should have some information regarding the end user, such as who they are, the nature of their medical condition, allergies, perhaps medical providers, and special instructions for EMT.  Medical alert systems and monitoring is not generally included in alarm license law definition and most states do not require a license for medical alert sales or monitoring.  A medical alert device that has option for more than a medical alert, such as panic or GPS, is not strictly a medical alert device and would require an alarm license to monitor in many states.  A medical alert contract must also meet certain consumer requirements in some states, usually regarding initial Notice to Cancel within a certain time frame of signing the medical alert contract, and right to cancel upon certain events during the term.
            The K&K PERS Agreement includes medical alert as well as security such as panic and GPS.  When used for medical alert you should get the additional end user information to aid EMT.  The PERS Agreement is offered by K&K as a single state, or as a nationwide agreement.  Because just about every state has its own requirements for the contract the Nationwide Agreement is intensive and suitable for on-line execution, not paper. 
            What exactly is Nurse Call, medical alert or something else that may mean medical assistance is needed.  Generally it means physical help is needed.  The device, whether it’s a button or pull cord, sends a signal to a receiver housed in the facility where the end users reside, such as nursing home or assistant living.  It can also send a signal to a professionally monitored central station who would be calling the facility, relatives or EMT. 
            The Nurse Call System is sold and installed pursuant to the Commercial All in One; the Schedule of Equipment and Services describes the devices included in the system and how it’s intended to operate.  If the signal does not leave the facility, meaning the signal goes to a nurse station or security station within the facility, the end user doesn’t need to sign a PERS Agreement.  The facility, having signed the Commercial All in One will be indemnifying the alarm company [or medical alert company] and also procuring insurance to cover claims from end users too.
          If the Nurse Call device sends a signal that leaves the facility and EMT is called then the best practice would be to get each end user in the facility to sign an individual PERS Agreement.  The facility would sign the Commercial All in One. This is appropriate because the end user should be providing the medical information.
            It sounds confusing and maybe it is because Medical Alert is a different business than traditional alarm monitoring.  The PERS Agreement covers both services but medical alert companies may prefer a strict medical alert agreement, state specific, for just medical alert.  In that case be certain that panic is not an option on the device, because that’s security, not medical alert

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301