By: Brian Yarnell, President and Founder Bluestream Health
The Bottom Line
Bluestream is providing a free, HIPAA-compliant virtual care solution to help care providers work with patients that are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. No strings attached, no downloads, no account setup, no talking to a salesperson- no kidding.
Simply enter an email address , set a password and start delivering secure virtual care sessions to your patients right now.
Why are we doing this?
Enterprise health systems have been deploying Bluestream to triage and treat suspected COVID-19 patients at massive scale over the past few weeks. One large health provider alone has already performed more than 5,000 tele-triage sessions and deployed the solution to an additional 25 locations this week. At the same time, we’ve seen noise in the marketplace from technology vendors offering to help cope with the growing crisis that are, at worst, sales pitches and, at best, thinly-veiled lead-gen campaigns.
We’ve been working in healthcare long enough to know that the sales and adoption cycle for new technology is slow and it will stand in the way of getting care to the patients that need it most. We founded Bluestream to make care delivery easy using innovative technology. Our proposition is simple—use Rapid Response today to get in front of patients in a safe, simple and secure environment and help us make an impact
Our proposition is simple —use Rapid Response today to get in front of patients in a safe, simple and secure environment and help us make an impact.
What we’re providing
Bluestream supports complex virtual care deployments, but that is not what we’re delivering here. Rapid Response is simple, effective and fast:
- Open a web browser and generate a secure invite for a patient via text or email
- The patient clicks the unique URL and is live in a HIPAA-compliant video session with you
- Collect notes on the session during or after the call
- Download call details after the call from a secure, HIPAA-compliant repository
- Rinse and repeat
Why is Virtual Care Important for COVID-19
Virtual care reduces the risk of exposure for front-line healthcare professionals (HCPs) and keeps them from becoming patients themselves. A newly released study suggests around 80% of COVID-19 patients experience only mild illness, so having initial triage and evaluation via telemedicine can reduce on-site clinic burden and provide social distancing for other patients. The CDC has provided guidance for HCPs (available on our resource page). Our goal is improved access to critical care and information for patients while reducing the risk of increased COVID-19 spread. Limiting exposure to the coronavirus is a core component.
Can I get reimbursed for sessions with a patient?
The answer to the reimbursement question is, it depends… As most HCPs know, reimbursement for telemedicine is dependent on many factors. Within the last few days, Medicare, health insurers and states have expanded telemedicine coverage for members, and the President signed an $8.3b spending bill which allocates $500m to Medicare telehealth services. Aetna, for example, is offering “zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason, and it is extending its Medicare Advantage virtual evaluation and monitoring visit benefit to all fully insured members”.
As of this writing the major insurance companies also agreed to cover the costs of telemedicine associated with COVID-19. See our resources page for how health insurance plans, Medicare and states are addressing prevention, testing, and treatment of COVID-19.
Some additional resources
Please visit the resources section of our website for guidance from our Chief Medical Officer, Sandeep Pulim, MD.