[Columbia, SC] — Yesterday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, they are allowing practitioners to utilize telehealth services to see their patients and is now providing reimbursement for e-visits. Now, SC House Calls is utilizing their knowledge and expertise in the telehealth world to help senior adults in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent press release, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar said, “Thanks to the Public Health Emergency I declared in January, more older Americans will be able to access healthcare they need from their home, without worrying about putting themselves or others at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. Providers will be allowed to use everyday technologies to talk to telehealth patients”.
“We have had the ability to do telehealth visits for the last four years with our employees, however, there were certain regulations hindering us to open this option to all clients.” says, Betsy Sipple, Chief Production Officer for SC House Calls. “Now, with the new emergency policies put into place by CMS, our practitioners have the ability to allow a wider range of healthcare services to more of the senior population.”
Janet DiNino, the company’s Chief Clinical Officer, stresses the importance of telehealth services, especially during this COVID-19. “Our job is to ensure patients are being seen regularly, in addition to monitoring and performing labs, to help prevent patients from getting sick and to monitor them if they do.” Having telehealth visits can also allow practitioners to assess a patient that may have COVID-19 symptoms in real-time, to help ensure they are tested early and treated sooner.
Now, SC House Calls’ Center for Telehealth call center allows patients to speak with a provider 24/7. SC House Calls has partnered with other healthcare organizations to provide 24-hour call center services for their patients. Theresa Younis, Chief Administrative Officer of Agape Hospice and Hospice Care of SC, both partners of SC House Calls, says, “When our hospice patients call the Center for Telehealth after hours, they can speak directly with a nurse practitioner, who has access to the patient’s health records and can write prescriptions if necessary.”
SC House Calls’ patient can have prescription orders and refills sent directly from the practitioner to SC Home RX pharmacy, which delivers the patient’s medication to them within 24 hours. With medications delivered to the patient’s door, it eliminates any additional hassle and helps protects the patient, who may be at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
“The SC House Calls’ team of administrative staff and healthcare professionals have an extensive background in senior adult healthcare care and truly understand how to care for their patients, especially during this COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” Says Melissa Engle, the Director of SC Home Rx.
“We are working diligently to utilize our expertise to provide great healthcare and important information updates to as many senior adults who need it to keep as many senior adults healthy during this public health emergency” Matt Staub, the company’s CEO continues, “With over 25,000 active patients statewide, SC House Calls has built an incredible team of healthcare professionals located throughout the state, even in the most rural areas.”
About SC House Calls:
SC House Calls is a Columbia based healthcare organization that provides healthcare providers to induct home visits to senior adult patients throughout South Carolina. With over 200 healthcare providers statewide, a 24/7 Center for Telehealth, and SC Home RX coordinate and provide healthcare services to seniors in all 46 counties in South Carolina. They are currently the only physician’s group in the state providing in-person and telehealth visits to adult seniors in their homes without charging patients any additional fees, allowing senior adults throughout the state to have access to home visits with their practitioner.
CMS.gov: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-trump-expands-telehealth-benefits- medicare-beneficiaries-during-covid-19-outbreak