Here's The Latest in Health Care:
• This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance for re-opening facilities to provide non-emergent, non-COVID-19 health care. First and foremost, facilities should check with their State and local authorities to confirm if gating criteria have been met as well as continue to use telehealth services, when available and appropriate, to minimize the need for in-person services. CMS also released guidance for patients to help identify when and how to return to health care facilities. Read More
• During the COVID-19 pandemic, UPMC saw its telehealth volume skyrocket from around 1,000 telemedicine visits per week to nearly 47,500 virtual visits per week. The value of virtual care has not gone unnoticed by leadership, and the health system has set a lofty goal to maintain at minimum 50 percent of that growth, about 7,500 virtual visits per day. To help sustain that goal UPMC's chief medical information officer Robert Bart, MD, is focused on opportunities in urgent care, post-operative and prenatal care. Read More
• Although health care organizations have endured a global health crisis that has severely taxed their bottom lines, there are areas for growth coming out of the pandemic. One unintended consequence of the crisis that can serve as an opportunity could be for large, well-capitalized health systems to partner or acquire community hospitals—which are already at high risk for closure—as patients continue to out-migrate to care sites beyond the community they live in. Read More
• Many providers and patients have apparently not only grown comfortable with the exemptions for telehealth but believe it's the best approach for delivering basic health care services until the coronavirus is completely tamed and beyond. This week two more groups, the American College of Physicians, an influential lobbying group, and Premier, a major group purchasing organization for hospitals and other providers, advocated for extending relaxed restrictions on a more permanent basis. Read More
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.