Painted Post, N.Y. (WENY) - End of life care provider CareFirst has received a grant worth more than $86,000 over a three year period from insurance company Excellus BlueCross and Blueshield.

Mary Mosteller, Director of Development and Public Relations for Carefirst, says "It is really going to allow CareFirst to educate and train professionals and caregivers throughout the Southern Tier and all of the area hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and caregivers so they can care for their loved ones with confidence and dignity at home."

Mosteller also says the grant will also reduce hospital readmissions and emergency department visits, which Mosteller says will save Southern Tier tax payers 1.5 million dollars over a three year period.

The grant also allows CareFirst to focus on their new skills lab for patients. Mosteller says, "The skills lab is such a gift. It basically mirrors a home setting and it has everything from a hospital bed to commodes, to trip hazards, so that we can actually bring families in and teach them how to care for their loved one at home, preventing those moments of crisis."

Jessica Renner, Southern Tier Regional President for Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield, discussed why they decided to approve CareFirst's grant application. She says, "As a health insurance carrier costs are a concern, but really quality is also the bigger concern and making sure people are where they want to be and their caregivers feel secure and safe with that decision as well. So it was just a no-brainer to work with somebody like a CareFirst."

The grant is partnership with over 19 facilities and agencies across Steuben, Schuyler, and Chemung counties.