Mitigate Further COVID-19 Spread

Remotely Screen your Patients for Free in USA Using aTouchAway™

   The official toll for COVID-19 has now surpassed a 1000 cases for USA. It is high time to nip this in its bud via proper measures or risk the further spread of this contagion. In light of the COVID-19 breakout, Aetonix is making the use of aTouchAway free for a couple of months for remotely screening potential COVID-19 cases.

 It can be as easy as sending a link to your patients, whether you are a hospital, skilled nursing facility or a long term care agency. If you are an insurance firm, you can send the link to your members. From there on, they could be remotely screened using a series of questions as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. for the the COVID-19 Coronavirus Symptom-Checker per. They can thereafter be connected to physicians if necessary, or even specialists in case of escalations. All this inside the privacy of their own homes, so further contagion is prevented. 

 Aetonix Systems Inc. started delivering remote care to patients in 2014, and was ahead of its time when all the legislation regarding telehealth and remote care was still being settled. Now in 2020, with its years of helping hospitals build remote care programs under its belt, it is positioned to help fight back against COVID-19.

* Refer to the brochure below on the simplicity of the remote screening process. Note that the case toll was from March 10th, for a more recent count, please refer to the Track the Outbreak link under helpful resources.

Response

Nancy Messonier, MD, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that hospitals need to consider telehealth options at a time like this. Virtually every major private insurnace firm in USA have announced initiatives that will ease the financial burden on patient to be screened for COVID-19. Intiatives range from removing co-pays and deductibles to removing authorization needed for diagnostic services. As for Medicare, President Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental spending bill which will include provisions for Medicare telehealth spending.

Medicare Reimbursement Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

What does the 1135 Waiver Entail?

Under this new waiver, Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country and including in patient’s places of residence starting March 6, 2020.  A range of providers, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, will be able to offer telehealth to their patients.  Additionally, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.

Prior to this waiver Medicare could only pay for telehealth on a limited basis:  when the person receiving the service is in a designated rural area and when they leave their home and go to a clinic, hospital, or certain other types of medical facilities for the service. 

If you are wondering what telehealth related codes to use at this time, refer to our COVID-19 Reimbursment Guide.