Telehealth can help primary care practices reduce spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable patients; protect revenue; and reposition for better ongoing chronic care management
El SEGUNDO, Calif., April 8, 2020 —Equality Health, a whole-health delivery system, today announced that it is offering a turnkey telehealth solution to primary care practices in Southern California that are in the Equality Health Network for their entire patient population, including Medicare Advantage patients. The no-cost initiative, which stands through June 30, 2020, includes rapid onboarding and training support for practices, as well as ongoing coding and billing education.
Providers may conduct virtual office visits, even in low bandwidth environments, with patients who are sheltering-in-place in their homes using their cellphone or computer. This method helps physicians maintain a trusting relationship with their patients while reducing the spread of COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced primary care practices to reposition the way they operate to conform to our new reality of social distancing and self-isolation. By adopting telehealth solutions, providers can continue to deliver the same high-quality care to their communities that they always have without compromising safety for patients, staff and providers,” said Jason Ahn, MD, Chief Development Officer, California Market, Equality Health.
Due to their advanced age and chronic conditions, Medicare Advantage patients are at particularly high risk of hospitalization or worse if they contract COVID-19. In recent days, COVID-19 hospitalization rates in California have doubled and ICU stays have tripled.
Telehealth significantly mitigates the strain on the healthcare system, and helps physician practices protect patients from becoming a tragic statistic. Advantages include increased access to comprehensive care; greater patient engagement to improve outcomes; and most importantly, the ability to deliver care in a safe environment for staff, patients and providers.
Telehealth also protects and even grows revenue, especially for ongoing chronic disease management. It is an ideal medium for visiting with established patients under a variety of scenarios that don’t require a physical examination—from sharing results to diagnosing common conditions.
“Ultimately, telehealth is a timely change for California physician practices. In response to COVID-19, government agencies are addressing many of the reimbursement and legal issues that prevented broader adoption. At Equality Health, we address equitable access to care, another longstanding concern, by providing virtual care options to underserved communities,” concluded Dr. Ahn.
Primary care practices that would like to learn more about joining the Equality Health Network and its free HIPPA-compliant virtual care program should contact Jason Ahn, MD, Chief Development Officer, California Market for Equality Health, at JAhn@equalityhealth.com.
About Equality Health
Equality Health, LLC is a whole-health delivery system focused on improving access, quality, and member trust. Through a value-based care technology and community resources platform, culturally competent provider network and population-specific care model, Equality Health helps managed care plans and health systems improve care for diverse populations while simultaneously making the transition to risk-based accountability. For more information about Equality Health, visit www.equalityhealth.com or follow @EqualityHealth on Facebook, @EqualityHealth on Twitter, and @EqualityHealth on LinkedIn.