Alexander Says Make The 2 Most Important COVID-19 Telehealth Policy Changes Permanent

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Wednesday said that at least two of the most important temporary changes in federal policy made to help patients see doctors by phone or video during the COVID-19 pandemic should be extended permanently.

“As dark as this pandemic event has been, it creates an opportunity to learn from and act upon these three months of intensive telehealth experiences, specifically what permanent changes need to be made in federal and state policies,” Senator Alexander said.

Senator Alexander said the federal government should 1) permanently extend policy changes that allowed physicians to be reimbursed for a telehealth appointment wherever the patient is located, including the patient’s home, and 2) permanently extend the policy change that nearly doubled the number of telehealth services that could be reimbursed by Medicare. He said there were 29 other temporary federal policy changes that could also be considered for being made permanent.

Senator Alexander made his remarks this morning during the Senate health committee hearing — “Telehealth: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” — which featured testimony from telehealth experts about the rapid shift in response to COVID-19 from in-person doctor visits to health care being provided virtually.

“In 2016, there were almost 884 million visits nationwide between patients and physicians, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Senator Alexander continued. “If 15-20 percent of those were to become remote permanently due to telehealth expansion during COVID-19—that would produce a massive change in our health care system. Our job should be to ensure that change is done with the goals of better outcomes and better patient experiences at a lower cost.”

“Part of this explosion in remote meetings between patients and physicians has been made possible by temporary changes in federal and state policies. The private sector, too, has made important changes. One purpose of this hearing is to find out which of these temporary changes in federal policy should be maintained, modified, or reversed—and also to find out if there are any additional federal policies that would help patients and health care providers take advantage of delivering medical services using telehealth.”

“Last week, I released a white paper on steps that Congress should take before the end of the year in order to get ready for the next pandemic. One of those recommendations was to make sure that patients do not lose the benefits that they have gained from using telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Senator Alexander concluded: “Even with an event as significant as COVID-19, memories fade and attention moves quickly to the next crisis, so it is important for Congress to act on legislation this year. Because of this 10 years of telehealth experience crammed into 3 months—patients, doctors, nurses, therapists, and caregivers can write some new rules of the road, and we should do so while the experiences still are fresh on our minds.”

Read Chairman Alexander’s opening statement here.

 


CHI Memorial Mammography Health Coach To Visit Hamilton County July 17, 28

Purpose Point Community Health, New Faith-Based Charitable Health Clinic In Chattanooga, Announces Medical Director And Medical Champion

Arts At Erlanger Now Accepting Submissions For “The Golden Hour” Call-Out


CHI Memorial’s mobile health coach will provide mammography screenings at Homeless Health Care, 730 E. 11th St. in Chattanooga, on Friday, July 17 from 9 a.m.-noon and at Alexian Village, 437 ... (click for more)

Purpose Point Community Health, a new faith-based charitable health clinic in the heart of East Chattanooga that will serve uninsured patients, announces Dr. Adrien Strickland,as its medical ... (click for more)

The Arts at Erlanger Committee is now accepting submissions for the upcoming “The Golden Hour” gallery show. Visual artists may submit pieces of any medium that can be hung on a wall including ... (click for more)



Living Well

CHI Memorial Mammography Health Coach To Visit Hamilton County July 17, 28

CHI Memorial’s mobile health coach will provide mammography screenings at Homeless Health Care, 730 E. 11th St. in Chattanooga, on Friday, July 17 from 9 a.m.-noon and at Alexian Village, 437 Alexian Way on Signal, on Tuesday, July 28 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Officials said, "All patients will be screened before the appointment for COVID-19 symptoms. Please bring a mask to wear during ... (click for more)

Purpose Point Community Health, New Faith-Based Charitable Health Clinic In Chattanooga, Announces Medical Director And Medical Champion

Purpose Point Community Health, a new faith-based charitable health clinic in the heart of East Chattanooga that will serve uninsured patients, announces Dr. Adrien Strickland,as its medical director and Dr. Candie Richardson as its medical champion. Adrien Strickland, M.D. is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Strickland earned her doctorate at the Medical College ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Adds 75 New Cases, Another Death To COVID Toll

Hamilton County Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes said Friday that Hamilton County has added 75 new coronavirus cases, with the number of cumulative cases being 3,255. She said there are 2,096 recovered cases, and 1,122 active COVID patients in the community. She reported another COVID death to the total. The 37 th death was a White non-Hispanic male between 61-70 ... (click for more)

Protest Leader Takes Down Sheriff's Flag In Front Of Jail, Burns It At Miller Park

A protest leader acknowledged in an Internet post that she took down the Sheriff's Department flag from in front of the County Jail and burned it at Miller Park. Marie Mott said she did so because "I got tired of seeing it flying knowing there are black, brown and poor white people in that jail while white people are allowed not to wear a mask when we have a virus that kills ... (click for more)

Opinion

Mandates Are A Bluff - And Response (13)

Via something called an "Executive Order," the facemask mandate will go into effect in Hamilton County on Friday until Sept. 8. This is an illegal executive order and carries no legal weight. Those issuing it know this, which is why Jim Coppinger was too cowardly to issue it himself, but passed off the dirty deed to Dr. Paul Hendricks, who is not even a duly elected representative ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Some time ago The Saturday Funnies started a “CLICK HERE” section at the end of the weekly jokes and stories. With today’s magnificent media, they are easily available and now I find a good half of the “Funnies” that arrive in our emails are videos. This week I received one video that I believe should be shared with everyone in times such as this. Because I am so gleeful over ... (click for more)