Healthcare organizations throughout the country are currently managing the delicate balance between increasing elective procedures and services while maintaining bed capacity in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence. As of this writing in early July, there was a surge across Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Gating criteria proposed by the Trump administration discouraged the opening of elective surgeries without a 14-day decrease in both the number of COVID-19 cases and patients with positive test results. As states reopen, many will need to take action to make the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) COVID-19 Telehealth Program changes permanent, once emergency orders are lifted.
Prior to the pandemic, many healthcare organizations had been using telemedicine in small pockets for specific patient populations, and insurance companies were reimbursing for just a limited number of services. However, during COVID-19, telemedicine reimbursement was widely expanded by CMS as part of the $2 trillion CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. CMS also temporarily waived Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations against providers who serve patients in good faith through communications technologies. Could telemedicine be here to stay? HealthTrust Physician Advisors and nursing leaders share their experiences.
Since early March, HealthTrust personnel have vetted more than 2,000 leads to secure quality personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, lab tests and other products critical to the thousands of caregivers battling the pandemic on the frontlines. As stay-at-home orders were put into place, the majority of HealthTrust employees worked remotely and were temporarily restructured into one or two of 13 workstreams aimed at supporting various aspects of the COVID fight. Learn more about those workstreams from the Leading Practices article.
As COVID-19 began to pervade the U.S., there were countless businesses, large and small, that were instrumental in assisting HealthTrust and hospitals throughout the country in obtaining critical supplies. We are honored to share a number of those examples in Agents of Change.
Clinicians and staff in our members’ facilities have made incredible sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19, and we recognize their efforts publicly in a new HealthTrust Clinical Warriors section of our website and on social media outlets. This edition also highlights a few of their stories in the Clinical Warriors Spotlight.
If you know of a warrior clinician or a team on the frontlines with a story to share, please take a moment and tell us about them.
Publisher, The Source magazine