With the COVID-19 pandemic currently gripping the world, many healthcare providers have been working hard to adapt their practices to what has now become the present reality. While some have been forced to close their doors on a temporary basis, there are others who have taken steps to discover new ways to work while, at the same time, maintaining social distancing.
Here are a few of the different ways in which the COVID-19 global pandemic is causing healthcare providers to react.
One of the ways in which the COVID-19 global pandemic is causing healthcare providers to react is through the expansion of telemedicine. With multiple states having now implemented stay-at-home orders, which mandate that residents refrain from traveling except for essential reasons, many across the United States of America have, for the time being, decided to seek medical care through the use of their personal electronic devices. Essentially, this permits them to practice social distancing while, at the same time, reducing the possibility of the virus itself spreading and helping to further protect those who work in healthcare. Both private and government insurers recently increased payments for telemedicine visits in order to ensure that they are on par with in-person visits. Prior to this decision, insurers had only been paying less than half of that amount. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have also expanded coverage to include telemedicine sessions for occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy as well.
Another way in which the COVID-19 global pandemic is causing healthcare providers to react is through additional amounts of patient screening. Many across the country have, as of late, been extremely concerned about keeping those in the healthcare field as safe as possible during this emergency. One of the most common solutions to this issue has seen healthcare providers contact patients and asking them to either reschedule or move their appointments to a video or phone appointment rather than an in-person appointment in order to help them avoid being near a crowd, especially if the initial reason for their visit is not necessarily an essential one. Furthermore, these same providers have also been asking patients to reschedule their appointments in the event that they have any potential COVID-19 symptoms so that anyone who may potentially be infected with the virus will not show up to their offices and put other individuals at risk.
In terms of the transition to telehealth, this is something that has been viewed as being easier for some, yet not as easy for others. In fact, there are many healthcare providers who have been required to familiarize themselves with all sorts of brand new software almost immediately.
All in all, the main goal for making telemedicine more available is to help with maintaining social distancing, as well as keeping those with conditions that are considered to be less significant away from the offices of healthcare providers whenever possible in order to prevent exposure to COVID-19.
Thanks to telemedicine, there are many tools that are currently available in order to help make it possible for more non-essential healthcare providers to keep themselves open and continue serving their patients as the global pandemic continues.
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