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Solving Community SARS-CoV-2 Testing With Telehealth: Development and Implementation for Screening, Evaluation and Testing

ABSTRACT

Background: Telehealth has emerged as a crucial component of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic emergency response. Simply stated, telehealth is a tool to provide health care from a distance. Jefferson Health has leveraged its acute care telehealth platform to screen, order testing, and manage patients with COVID-19–related concerns.

Objective: This study aims to describe the expansion and results of using a telehealth program to increase access to care while minimizing additional potential exposures during the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Screening algorithms for patients with SARS-CoV-2–related…

Joint Commission Issues Telehealth Safety Advisory

That’s the take-away from J.D. Power’s second annual Telehealth Satisfaction Study, released earlier this month. According to the consumer advisory company’s survey,…

The survey identifies what factors are most important to consumers when they choose telehealth, and it shows how the coronavirus pandemic has changed some of those priorities.

By Eric Wicklund

October 16, 2020 – Healthcare providers and payers looking to drive sustainability in a telehealth platform in a world affected by the coronavirus pandemic should focus on safety, quality and insurance coverage.

That’s the take-away from J.D. Power’s second annual Telehealth Satisfaction Study, released earlier this month. According to the consumer advisory company’s survey,…

New Medicare telehealth reimbursements include cardiac rehab

Eleven new services have been added to the list of telehealth services reimbursed by Medicare fee-for-service during the COVID-19 health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Wednesday.

Many of the new services involve cardiovascular care, including intensive cardiac rehabilitation with and without exercise, pulmonary rehab with exercise, and in-person ventricular assist device interrogation. Certain neurostimulator implant analysis and programming services will also be covered.

Medicare immediately will begin paying eligible practitioners who provide these newly added telehealth services, and for the duration of the…

How virtual care can be refined to reach those who need it most

Clinicians, vendors and telehealth advocates stress the importance of virtual services in expanding access to care – and noted the ways it still needs to improve.

There’s no doubt that telehealth has proven to be an integral tool to keeping healthcare accessible amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Telehealth has continued to grow and has continued to really set the pace” for digital innovation, said CHIME president and CEO Russ Branzell. Though the coronavirus crisis has certainly sped up that process, he said, the foundation for such growth…

CMS Adds 11 New Approved Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Updates Guidance to States on Medicaid Telehealth Expansion

On October 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has expanded its list of telehealth services approved for Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).  The eleven telehealth services CMS just added are for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.  CMS approved them using an expedited process it unveiled in a May Interim Final Rule.  These eleven new services, along with many others designated as temporary, will remain in effect for the duration of the PHE.

CMS simultaneously announced preliminary data showing an explosive 2600% growth in the…

Key Considerations for Permanently Integrating Telehealth Coverage

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Donna O’Shea, MD, chief medical officer of population health management for UnitedHealthcare, and other leaders at UnitedHealthcare watched as the payer’s telehealth claims shot up…

As telehealth transitions from a nice-to-have benefit to an essential form of care delivery, payers will have to make some adjustments in order to permanently integrate telehealth coverage expansions.

October 16, 2020 – Telehealth is metamorphosing and payers will have to take steps in order to permanently integrate telehealth coverage as a key form of care delivery.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Donna O’Shea, MD, chief medical officer of population health management for UnitedHealthcare, and other leaders at UnitedHealthcare watched as the payer’s telehealth claims shot up…

Factoring in Caregivers Adds Value to a Telehealth Program

Telehealth programs that include the caregiver in the care management process stand a better chance of improving outcomes and quality of life.

And that’s a problem. Family members and friends who care for loved ones can help improve care management at home by playing an active role in telehealth, either through helping the patient or contributing their own…

October 16, 2020 – Telehealth programs are so focused on connecting the patient with the provider that they sometimes forget about the other person in the room: the caregiver.

And that’s a problem. Family members and friends who care for loved ones can help improve care management at home by playing an active role in telehealth, either through helping the patient or contributing their own…

How community hospitals are tackling today’s challenges: 6 trends to ensure a thriving future

Community hospitals are a pillar of cities and towns across the nation and have been resilient over the past several years, especially during the pandemic.

On Oct. 12, community hospital executives and industry leaders participated in the Becker’s Healthcare Community Hospitals Virtual Forum to discuss topics ranging from their biggest challenges and lessons learned during the pandemic to how they’re planning for the future.

Here are six takeaways from the event.

1. The top worries of community hospitals are declining reimbursement and volumes. Many executives from…

‘There’s No Undoing This Revolution’: HHS Secretary Alex Azar Touts In-Home Care, Virtual Visits

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar believes that COVID-19 has led to a health care revolution, one that will include a larger focus on care in the home.

Specifically, Azar thinks the increase in telehealth usage and a stronger focus on social determinants of health will be major influences in a more value-based health care system in the U.S moving forward.

“One of the instructive experiences from COVID-19 has been the vastly expanded role of telehealth,” Azar said Thursday at the Medicare Advantage Virtual…

HHS Secretary Azar: Medicare Advantage Will Grow Telehealth Beyond COVID-19

Telehealth will be a cornerstone of future health care policy following the COVID-19 pandemic, with Medicare Advantage plans as one engine for growth. Expansion of telehealth services across the health care continuum accelerated rapidly due to efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. These developments will likely shape health care for years to come including for hospice and palliative care providers.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be making permanent a number of the temporary flexibilities to expand telehealth that the agency implemented in response to…

CMS Adds Reimbursement for Cardiac Rehab Services Via Telehealth

CMS has added 11 services to Medicare’s telehealth reimbursement list for the duration of the pandemic and released new resources for state Medicaid and CHIP programs looking to expand their connected health offerings.

The agency also released new resources to help Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs use telehealth during the ongoing…

By Eric Wicklund

October 15, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced that 11 more telehealth services will qualify for Medicare reimbursement during the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency also released new resources to help Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs use telehealth during the ongoing…

Remote monitoring played critical role in managing pandemic surge

As hospitals faced a deluge of patients early in the COVID-19 pandemic, many implemented remote solutions to manage individuals at home to keep from being overwhelmed – all at a speed unthinkable in more normal times. That experience promises to accelerate and transform telemedicine long after the threat of COVID-19 recedes, according to a report by Vizient Inc. In the short-term, lessons from these leaders provide a roadmap for others to cope with an expected surge in cases this fall.

Recent research indicates that about 80% of COVID-19 patients do…

CMS adds 11 new telehealth services to Medicare coverage

CMS on Oct. 14 added 11 new services to the list of telehealth services that Medicare will reimburse during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Trump administration announced March 17 that CMS will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries during the pandemic. Since the public health emergency began, CMS has added more than 135 services to the Medicare telehealth services list, including emergency department visits and initial inpatient visits.

Medicare will begin paying eligible practitioners who provide these newly added telehealth services effective immediately and through the…

Telehealth projects to receive $72 million in grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest round of Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants, totaling $72 million, will go to 116 programs in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The aid falls under the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Program.

“Increasing access to telemedicine and distance learning is critical to building healthier and more resilient rural communities,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “Paired with our monumental effort to expand high-speed broadband access in rural America, these investments will help rural health care centers and education institutions reach more rural residents…

AMA Coalition to Help Doctors Use Telehealth for Mental Health Services

The AMA’s Behavioral Health Integration Collaborative, coming on the heels of last week’s Executive Order, aims to help providers use telehealth to integrate mental and behavioral health services into primary care.

By Eric Wicklund

October 13, 2020 – Healthcare providers will be getting some help in learning how to use telehealth to integrate mental health services into standard pathways of care.

With a coronavirus pandemic and rising substance abuse rates plaguing the nation, the American Medical Association is launching a new collaboration aimed at helping providers add telemental…

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