In early March, President Donald Trump signed a coronavirus aid package worth $8.3 billion in order to fight the novel coronavirus.
The aim for the new spending package is to help government health officials and support their efforts in the research and development of a vaccine.
The original plan was that the bill to fight the outbreak would be $2 billion. But after some consideration the Congress decided to increase the bill to $8.3 billion.
Some resources claim that more than $3 billion will be relocated to research and development of a vaccine and therapeutics. $2.2 billion will be relocated to prevention and preparedness and about $1 billion will be used in order to purchase necessary medical supplies for Community Health Centers.
Under the new spending measures, there will also be room for telehealth services offered to people on Medicare or adult Americans over 65 years. This will allow people the opportunity to speak with a doctor remotely which reduces the risk of getting anyone else ill.
The new legislation will allow Medicare to expand the implementation and use of telehealth on outbreak areas and reducing infection risks on vulnerable population.
Until now, telemedicine was limited only to Americans that live in rural areas and that had to travel long distances for treatments. The legislation will now waiver these restrictions with focus on dealing with the public health emergency created by the outbreak.
Not just that. With this new legislation, there might be ample opportunities for changes in Medicare’s coverage on virtual health care. So it’s possible that this might include Skype consults with your doctor and the use of other technologies which will send measurements to your doctor.
In these troubled times, telehealth can be a key component in containing and treating the disease, especially in the area of public health emergency. With a much wider use of telemedicine, we can make elderly Americans safe!
Scientist across the world that are tracking the development of COVID-19 have recorded that the disease is specifically risky for elderly people, patients that have one or more chronic conditions or those that already have a compromised immune system. And when it comes to death rates, they are much higher among the elderly.
Even though telemedicine could be able to help health professionals in limiting the spread of the outbreak, patients that suspect that they suffer from COVID-19, will still need to be tested physically, at the clinic, at their doctors office, or schedule an appointment with United Telehealth Corp which sends a technician to the patients home.
Furthermore, those that are on Medicare insurance plans, will be able to take care of their existing medical issues through telemedicine, without having to visit the doctor and risk contact with someone that is infected with COVID-19.
In order to protect the senior population against scams, this new legislation will require an established and ongoing relationship between the receiving patient and the doctor’s office that will be billing for the telehealth services. Furthermore, the communication will have to be done through a two-way video or voice link.
This is a huge opportunity for telemedicine. If telemedicine shows its potential in the right way, then that could lead to significant changes and will eventually make it more available.
Medicare is the leading health insurance program that covers over 60 million people aged 65 or more, as well as a number of younger people that fit the insurance requirements.
These new waiver options will be beneficial to approximately 60% of Medicare recipients.