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Treating Patients Using Telehealth Mitigates the Spread of COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Health care professionals across the country are working tirelessly to try to manage the increasing demands they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for quality telehealth services has reached all-time highs because of the global pandemic, which is compounded by the fact that our hospitals and health care clinics are overwhelmed and understaffed.

The ability for a provider to meet with a patient long-distance, through remote care, to assess their symptoms keeps low acuity patients at home and out of overloaded emergency rooms and urgent care centers. Doing this mitigates the spread of COVID-19 and helps ease the demand on our hospitals and health care providers allowing them to focus their efforts on the most critical patients.

Telehealth Frees Up Physicians and Nurses to Attend to Critical Patients

Telehealth providers can contribute to our health care system’s COVID-19 defense plan. Each individual who utilizes a nurse’s hotline or chooses a virtual physician consultation frees up physicians and nurses to devote their time to the sickest patients who require treatment in a traditional health care setting. Providing virtual telehealthcare means people with mild to moderate symptoms can receive treatment at home and further reduce the spread of the virus by not coming into a health care facility.

Telemedicine is useful in evaluating and reassuring patients who are isolated, elderly, or who don’t have access to medical transportation by providing convenient in-home assessments and care. Utilizing telehealth can limit the spread of illness and disease and patients who have health care needs unrelated to the coronavirus can be served in the security of their homes thus eliminating unnecessary exposure to the virus. Telehealth is a vital tool to implement during an outbreak like this. It frees up our frontline health care providers to give their attention to the most critical patients and alleviates overcrowding of hospitals and health care facilities.

Expanded Telehealth Coverage During COVID-19

“The use of telemedicine and remote care services are critical to the management of COVID-19, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions. The AMA encourages any private payers that are not already covering telehealth services to remove those limitations now. The AMA stands ready to help physicians expand their use of telemedicine and continues to invest in resources that provide physicians with a proven path for integrating telemedicine and digital health technologies into patient care.” Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. President, American Medical Association (AMA).

CMS has issued guidance on expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak. Under their guidance, Medicare will pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country. “These changes allow seniors to communicate with their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility so that they can limit the risk of exposure and spread of this virus,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  “Clinicians on the frontlines will now have greater flexibility to safely treat our beneficiaries.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also noted that penalties will not be imposed on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

On March 17 the Trump administration announced the expansion of Medicare telehealth coverage, which will allow beneficiaries to participate in virtual visits with their physicians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are empowering medical providers to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency,” said OCR Director Roger Severino in a statement. “We are especially concerned about reaching those most at risk, including older persons and persons with disabilities.”

Expanding your Workforce Requires Expedited Onboarding Processes

Hospitals and health care clinics are desperate to add additional providers to assist with the treatment of COVID-19 patients. These facilities are pulling practitioners out of retirement, taking students out of med school early, and asking for more hours from part-time providers to help with the overwhelming demand they have to care for critical patients.

During the pandemic, telehealth providers have been given permission to work across multiple states to provide remote care to patients. These practitioners and telehealth programs are in high demand and adding these services to your organization requires expedited onboarding in order to assess and treat patients faster.

Verisys provides expedited license verifications and sanctions screening to assist your credentialing department with their increased volumes and the onboarding of additional staff. We are here to help your team with fast and accurate data to quickly expand your workforce to meet your demands. We are committed to making the process quick and easy for your staff, even if they are working remotely, they can access the data they need by logging into our cloud-based portal.

Verisys Connect is an easy-to-use self-service platform that provides transactional searches against FACIS®, our database of more than 3,500 primary sources and over 5,000 total sources. By entering the provider’s name once, you can collect the requested data from numerous chosen primary sources (sanctions, exclusions, debarments, and disciplinary actions) and save them into a single centralized location while easily adding or omitting providers and businesses from the screened population at any time.

Coming Together to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the health care workers and organizations who are selflessly serving those that have been affected by COVID-19 and we are here to support you and assist you during this pandemic. The mission of Verisys has always been to support health care organizations in fully credentialing their providers and improving overall health care and patient safety in the U.S. Let us support you in your efforts to combat COVID-19 by expediting the license verifications and sanctions screening for your additional providers to accelerate their onboarding and provide relief to your existing staff. To this end we are here to assist you through these tough times: we are all in this together!

Juliette WillardWritten by Juliette Willard
Healthcare Communications Specialist
Being creative is my passion! Writer. Painter. Problem Solver. Optimist.
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