Ah, Online conferencing. It enabled us to meet with our co-workers, family, friends and fellow musicians during 2020 and 2021. It also enabled us to keep some of our medical appointments.
Telehealth already existed in 2020, but most of us would not yet have experienced it were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic. The desire to avoid the spread of COVID-19, combined with a change in Medicare/Medicaid home health regulations during the COVID-19 public health emergency, led to much quicker adoption of remote medical appointments than previously anticipated.
In June 2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed to permanently finalize the amendment to the home health regulations that allowed telehealth to be covered under the Medicare home health benefit, beginning January 1, 2021.
Also in June 2020, Mayo Clinic announced a new at-home advanced care model, in a collaboration with Boston-based technology-enabled services company Medically Home.
“Using a new technology platform to enable this care-at-home framework, patients with conditions that once had to be managed in a hospital will have the choice to transition to a home-based setting, where they will receive a combination of virtual and in-person care, as well as recovery services.”
In May 2021, Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente announced that they will collaborate to build capacity for “hospital-at-home” care. They have invested $100 million in Medically Home Group. These players are some heavy-hitters.
Medically Home describes it (short video)
Representatives from Medically Home, Kaiser, and Mayo Clinic announce this partnership in great detail with Q/A. (54 minute video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hVxkH6OqXw
These changes not only promise the improvement of care to underserved areas, but they also mean that within a supportive community such as ours, hospital stays can be as brief as possible, with recovery among family and friends.