eVisit, the enterprise virtual care platform that simplifies healthcare delivery, announced its offering VirtualED—a preconfigured workflow of its platform that’s specific to coronavirus—to hospitals free of charge through July 31, 2020. This configuration of the eVisit platform enables hospitals to screen for COVID-19, triage patients to the appropriate care setting, and treat COVID-19 and non-emergency patients virtually, keeping staff and patients safe while reducing the potential spread of the virus. VirtualED includes quick deployment, so hospitals can be up and running in as little as two weeks at no cost.
Increased access to telehealth services during this public health emergency is crucial to managing the outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare organizations use telehealth tools to address COVID-19 preparedness and direct patients to the right level of care to meet their medical needs. In addition, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payors are taking steps to reduce telehealth reimbursement barriers to encourage more widespread telehealth usage.
- Medicare: Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that will allow healthcare providers to bill Medicare fee-for-service for patient care delivered by telehealth during the current coronavirus public health emergency.
- Medicaid: Because Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth varies state by state, congressional representatives are encouraging states to cover all telemedicine services and expand their capacity to do so in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Commercial Payors: Commercial payors are taking steps to further expand access to telehealth services by lessening members’ out-of-pocket costs.
“These reimbursement initiatives are crucial to increasing access to telehealth during this growing pandemic,” said Bret Larsen, chief executive officer at eVisit. “With eVisit’s VirtualED, hospitals can easily treat patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at their home, keeping them out of clinical settings. In addition, VirtualEd enables hospitals to conduct initial COVID-19 screening virtually. We want to do our part to keep hospital staff and patients safe while slowing the spread of the virus.”
How It Works
- Hospitals direct patients to their VirtualED website instead of the hospital.
- Patients use their mobile device or computer to schedule an on-demand ED visit, answer COVID-19 specific intake questions, and enter a video exam room.
- A nurse assesses the patient’s symptoms through a video visit and sends the patient to a virtual exam room with a doctor for diagnosis and treatment, or if the issue is an emergency, clears the patient to go into the emergency room.
- Patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 can be advised to stay home and receive treatment through virtual care to reduce the spread of the virus and protect hospital staff and patients.
“We created the eVisit virtual care platform to be highly configurable so it can adapt to a situation just like this,” said Miles Romney, chief technology officer at eVisit. “We’ve pre-configured our virtual care platform for emergency department triage specific to COVID-19 so hospitals can be up and running before a possible peak of COVID-19 cases in April or May. Together, we can keep staff and patients safe—and COVID-19 out of hospital EDs—while slowing the spread of the virus.”