Bullseye Adjusting & Associates LLC

Coronavirus Should Finally Smash The Barriers To Telemedicine

 Tuesday, April 14, 2020

 Bloomberg

Under normal circumstances, internist Jenni Levy makes house calls, checking on patients with chronic conditions and serving as what she calls “rolling urgent care.” She works for Landmark Health, which offers supplemental home visits to people with Medicare Advantage plans and a high risk of hospitalization.

When she joined Landmark, Levy heard that the company was working on a telemedicine app. Two and a half years later, she still hadn’t seen anything.

It turns out developing proprietary software that complies with the privacy provisions of the U.S.’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, is a time-consuming process. So far, the company has pilot programs running in only a couple of markets.

Now, with circumstances far from normal, Levy and her colleagues are suddenly seeing patients over FaceTime and WhatsApp. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, federal regulators last month eased the stringent interpretation of HIPAA for telemedicine.

Rather than special HIPAA-compliant platforms, health-care providers operating in good faith can use everyday communications tools, so long as they aren’t open to the public. FaceTime is fine, in other words; Tik Tok is not.
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