SCMS Making a Difference: Dr. Dowling and Dr. Choi – Reducing Risks for Physicians and Patients
While in-office evaluations are ideal, the pros/cons tips the scale towards telehealth for many. This maybe most important for patient care at this time
CMS expansion of telehealth and the relaxation of HIPAA enforcement during this pandemic crisis are so critical to our strategies to minimize cases and deaths.
Our physicians reached out to key senators who value the role of organized medicine and are familiar with us from our communications on multiple other issues. With the partnership of MSSNY physician and staff leadership and the AMA leadership, our physician network has helped reduce the infection risks to physician, nurses, other healthcare staff, and patients.
Physicians from SCMS (Dr. Dowling and Dr. Choi), MSSNY physicians, the AMA, along with physicians from other state societies, and several specialties recommended the expansion of telehealth under Medicare Medicaid and private insurance.
For this emergency/pandemic, organized medicine advocated for discretion in enforcement of the BAA required by HIPAA so physicians and patients could use secure smartphone apps like FaceTime and Skype to:
-screen and advice patients who are ill and could have the virus
-treat other patients whose medical issues can be adequately addressed by telehealth (keeping in mind that we are reducing risk of visit spreading to our patients, our staff and our docs).
-relieve burdens on ERs if patients call their own doctor who knows them best -Many can stay home
From primary care, cardiology, ENT, orthopedics, pediatrics, patients/families and doctors are happy to use telehealth and be more safe.
-our patients are very appreciative, as our healthcare workers and staff
-If enough people comply, this with social distancing, can save many more lives.