MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Hospitals and medical facilities across the country are making several adjustments to policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mon Health is waiving all patient fees for Telehealth services, including deductibles and co-payments
Locally, hospitals are working to keep as many materials and staff on standby for the expected rush of people to come in as a result of COVID-19. In the meantime, elective operations are put on hold while other doctors try to keep meetings and other appointments up in running through telemedicine.
“This uses technology to allow virtual visits, where a provider can evaluate and see a patient without the patient physically being there,” explains Mon Health Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs Gregory Nelcamp.
The programs implemented using telemedicine are very much following in what appears to be the new normal as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead of having patients come in to a Mon Health facility, they would instead use doxi.me to talk to a health specialists who can then refer them to either come in for a doctors visit or discuss further treatments in the future. This allows patients of all ages, including those who might be susceptible to diseases or might have one, to be analyzed without putting themselves or others at risk.
“That is also very simple to use,” said Nelcamp describing the technology. “It requires no app downloads, it requires no special programs, it is all browser based, and it works tremendously well on a wide variety of devices,” he said.
Aside from the health benefits of not having to wait at a doctor’s office or a waiting room, the convenience factors of discussing issues with your doctor or specialists are also being considered. Instead of having to drive or have a doctor visit your home, a patients can log into a doxi.me portal and have a doctor help you out immediately and conveniently. In turn, this saves the patient and doctors time to address needs in a more efficient approach.
“It is a way to significantly decrease the need to show up at your provider’s office at a time when we would like only those necessary and urgent visits to come,” said Nelcamp.
Telemedicine appears to be one of several new policies expected to take place across the medical field in response to COVID-19. As a result of the outbreak, medical facilities across the country are taking the approach of accepting patients depending on the level of severity. Seeing this as the potential approach of the “new normal,” Mon Health already began making steps toward telemedicine before COVID-19 according to Nelcamp. Now, until there’s more clarity on the outbreak, this trend will continue to be encouraged.
“We want the people to come to the clinic who are necessary and urgent,” he explained. “Emergent are obviously welcomed, but we want to minimize that just for the safety of our patients,” he said.