On August 3, 2020, the US president Mr. Donald J.Trump said in a news conference on Monday, “The virus is receding”. He also signed an executive order to shift telehealthcare services from temporary to permanent, as it was allowed during the pandemic of COVID-19.
During the news conference, he said, “ Today I’m taking action to ensure telehealth is here to stay.” He further announced, “ I signed an executive order to make many of our regulatory reforms permanent.” He also declared that Medicare will cover telehealth visits without any additional costs and wavers can waive copayments for telehealth services.
This order will allow Medicare to cover more than 135 services through telehealth services including; physical therapy, emergency department visits, home visits, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, pediatrics, critical care, and other services. According to a recent study, it has been revealed that the government has allocated an estimated $2 billion of additional funding in order to support the ability of Medicare patients who receive telehealth services.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS DECISION:
Meet the increasing demands
Due to the rising healthcare crisis, it has become feasible for healthcare practitioners and patients to make telehealth services permanent. Since we already know that medical practitioners have invested in the technical infrastructure and personnel to accommodate telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “Seema Verma” has emphasized that the federal government should take action before CMS issues new policies regarding the implementation of telehealth services beyond the public health emergency.
This order specifically offers telehealth services for rural communities and hospitals. It is also important for those healthcare centers that lack the funds needed for the infrastructure.
Improvements In Rural Healthcare
The white house said that the Department of Health and Human Services had to announce new payment-model-testing innovations under this order,. The purpose of this is to empower rural hospitals to transform healthcare in their communities on a larger scale.
Therefore, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission are making a task force to combat the challenges. Their workers will break down barriers to improve and expand rural healthcare services.
It is the hour of need that medical practitioners should devise new and innovative solutions to encounter modern complications in the field of healthcare. As we know the use of telehealthcare has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to recent stats, over 43% of all Medicare primary care services were done by telehealthcare in April. Which is significantly a huge percentage comparative to 1% in February. An estimated 10.1 million Medicare beneficiaries (including 3.6 million seniors) have accessed telehealthcare services in the past few months. President Donald J Trump said, “The virus is receding” while giving statement about COVID-19.
He has also claimed that positive cases for Corona Virus cases had declined by nearly 6% from the week before, nationwide. In hospitals located in South and West, coronavirus cases have dropped by 37%, Texas by 18.7% and Florida by 21.2%, Trump said. He also further claimed that there are some states where the number of positive cases of coronavirus is continuously increasing i.e. Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Missouri. While another 18 states have almost 5% of positive tests for COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, positive test cases of COVID-19 have drastically reduced from week 29 to 30, which ended on July 25. While the percentage of laboratory tests positive for coronavirus got increased in six of 10 HHS regions. Over the past 30 weeks, weekly hospitalization rates and mortality attributed to COVID-19 has also declined. While the mortality attributed to coronavirus remained above the epidemic threshold.
COVID-19 cases showed decreases nationally from week 29 to week 30, which ended July 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of laboratory tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 remained stable from week 29 to week 30, but increased in six of 10 HHS regions. Weekly hospitalization rates and mortality attributed to COVID-19 also declined during week 30, the CDC said, with mortality attributed to COVID-19 remaining above the epidemic threshold.
President Trump who was initially against the idea of wearing masks has emphasized Americans to wash their hands, social distance and wear masks on Monday. He also said, “Lockdown is not viable, Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future.”
The elder people should adopt preventive measures since the average age of most of the infected or dying patients ranges between 60 to 78. Undoubtedly, the pandemic and its economic impact are the major issues that are going to arise in the November presidential election.
In order to compensate this loss, the Trump administration has finally decided to make telehealthcare permanent. Improvements in the vast field of the healthcare industry can have a huge impact on upcoming election campaigns.
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