America should adopt smarter ways to counter COVID-19 as it reopens for patients and clinicians. In the meanwhile, CMS has come up with a guide for patients and beneficiaries as they decide to visit providers for in-person care.
As a result of the surge in COVID-19 patients, many providers were left with no option except to restrict care at their facility. They had to do that for the essential treatment of COVID-19 patients.
However, with a much-improved situation now, the government encourages private practices and clinics to resume their normal operations. They are to continue with their postponed non-emergency treatments and carry out in-person patient visits as we speak.
The patient guide ensures the safe reopening of healthcare facilities with patients receiving the much needed in-person care. National public health emergency took over, causing this delay in normal appointments, procedures, and treatments.
We can’t thank President Trump enough for his vision, the expansion of telehealth, to be specific, in a very short time. In this way, all this time when America was closed, patients were able to talk to their clinicians from the safety of their homes.
Ms. Seema Verma, Administrator of CMS, reinforces the vitality of in-person care and refers to it as a gold level of care. Such steps by the government are in favor of patients who have long been waiting at homes for procedures, vaccinations, operations, and evaluation of chronic conditions.
She further explained healthcare is the right of every American and our healthcare heroes are working day in and day out to deliver it safely. We should all feel confident when going for in-person care recommended by our providers.
On April 19, CMS issued the first part of recommendations to safely start in-person care activity in areas with a low occurrence or relatively low and constant number of COVID-19 cases. Hence, we move ahead with another set of recommendations.
CMS leaves no stone unturned when it comes to patient and clinician safety as healthcare systems, practices and clinics further enhance in-person care standards. Recommendations include a list of topics to ensure safety regulations are in place for patients and providers including facility measures; testing and sanitation levels; personal protective equipment and stock of supplies; and workforce presence.
The easy access to healthcare for everyone can be restricted to some extent. However, this decision can’t be prolonged due to financial discrepancies.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, healthcare professionals have lost a major amount of revenue as the resources were redirected towards the pandemic response. Now as the Trump administration is asking to bring normalcy in the economy under strict SOPs, we can expect a gradual balance between expenses and revenue.
As it was with part 1 of recommendations, decisions to reopen should be in line with federal, state, and local rules, CDC’s guidance, and association with the state and local public health authorities.
As the country continues to move on the path of reopening, patients have concerns about when to check-in with their providers for in-person visits.
CMS also acts as a guide with empathy for patients to make the right decisions as they prepare to meet their providers in person. Ultimately, it is in their best interest to follow the new rules.
Find guidelines for patients for in-person visits in English here: https://cms.gov/files/document/covid-what-patients-should-know-about-seeking-health-care.pdf and in Spanish here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-what-patients-should-know-about-seeking-health-care-spanish.pdf
To read one of the previous updates, go here – P3 investigates: Trump Administration plans to reopen nursing homes
To read about the work of the White House Coronavirus Task Force reaction to COVID-19, go to www.coronavirus.gov. For specific information about CMS, keep reading our blog updates.