Telehealth revolutionized the medical field by enabling providers to deliver virtual care to patients through audio/visual communication technology. It started the era of remote care, allowing patients to avoid unnecessary travel and wait times, while still receiving quality attention from their physicians. It empowered the growth of medical organizations by making it possible for providers to see more patients in their day while still having access to the data and tools they need to accomplish their best work.
Telehealth has proven its worth amidst the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, helping medical professionals manage the rise in COVID-19 patients while still caring for non-symptomatic individuals. With COVID-19 sweeping the nation, pain management specialists are using telehealth to deliver top-of-the-line patient care during a public health emergency.
National Adjustment to Telehealth Access
As of March of 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded telehealth coverage to enable broader access to virtual services and reimbursements for those services through the duration of the pandemic. This included reimbursements for over 80 new telehealth services and removed some of the restrictions previously set in place by CMS.
How does This Apply to Pain Management Specialists?
For pain management specialists, telehealth services and restrictions have been adjusted to make it possible for providers to conduct follow-up procedures/therapy, fill medications, clarify treatment plans, and more. Up until the coronavirus outbreak, in-person visits were required to fill controlled substances, such as opioids.
With COVID-19 restrictions limiting the number of in-person visits providers are able to complete, many pain management specialists are concerned about how they will continue to get prescriptions to their patients when they are unable to meet visit requirements.
The good news is that the DEA’s Diversion Control Division noted that, “For as long as the secretary’s designation of public emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners may issue prescriptions for controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided certain conditions are met.”
This means that pain management specialists are able to continue business as usual with their patients even if in-person care is not permissible. Telehealth makes it possible for physicians to continue evaluating their patients remotely, monitoring their progress and making informed clinical decisions about how to move forward.
Other Beneficial Features of Telehealth to Pain Management Specialists During COVID-19
While telehealth is enabling pain management specialists to continue caring for con-COVID patients, it is contributing to the coronavirus response in a multitude of other ways as well.
The use of telehealth technology is helping medical professionals across the country limit transmission of the virus as much as possible. While patients are being urged to remain in their homes, many high-risk and pain management patients depend on regularly scheduled care. Pain management specialists who utilize telehealth can enable their patients to stay safe in their homes. It is also helping providers screen COVID-19 related symptoms prior to scheduling any kind of in-person care, limiting the spread of the virus to medical facilities and limiting transmission to medical professionals.
Patients can work with their pain management specialists to form a treatment plan that keeps everyone as safe as possible through the duration of the virus outbreak by using telehealth technology to stay connected.
To learn more about a telehealth solution for pain management specialists, click here.