July 10, 2020

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In recent months, Congress and CMS have accelerated the adoption of virtual care services due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and health practitioners are quickly adapting their practices to this method of care delivery. As part of this effort, The Federal Communications Commission awarded $200 million to health providers to purchase devices and services to aid in telehealth. Over just a few months, the FCC COVID-19 telehealth program has helped more than 500 practices across the country in this endeavor. 

Eight Caravan Health clients will receive these FCC telehealth funds. Margaret Mary Health in Batesville, Indiana, site of an early COVID-19 outbreak, plans to enhance their remote patient monitoring system, including the purchase of equipment such as tablets, mobile hotspots, and telemedicine carts. This new equipment will allow for more remote medical exams and screenings, including exams to assess COVID-19. Other Caravan Health clients who received funds are Chautauqua Medical Center in Dunkirk, NY; Franklin County Memorial Hospital in Meadville, MS; Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, IN; Logansport Memorial Hospital in Logansport, IN; North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, MS; Missouri Delta Physician Services in Sikestown, MO; and St. Luke's Hospital in Marion, KS. Caravan provided technical assistance, an informational webinar, and customized application instructions to aid clients in preparing successful applications.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become a reliable resource for patients to continue receiving high quality care, and a lifeline for practices facing steeply declining service volume. Many face-to-face medical visits have been delayed or cancelled for safety reasons, but preventive care practices cannot be put on hold. Physician practices and other providers have been implementing virtual care services in record time in order to continue care delivery and maintain practice income and sustainability for their staff and patients. Opening a virtual front door keeps communication open between provider and patient, even when they can’t meet face-to-face. 

The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain and based on early indications from CMS and patient feedback, telehealth and virtual care are likely here to stay. Read our Virtual Care Guide to get started keeping healthy patients from being in a potentially risky acute care environment with a reimagined telehealth experience. 

Read the Virtual Care Guide

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