In an effort to fight the coronavirus, Medicare is expanding its telemedicine options for seniors. But the outbreak could pave the way for broader acceptance of technology within the program.
The Associated Press: As Coronavirus Spreads, Medicare Gets Telemedicine Option
The coronavirus legislation signed by President Donald Trump on Friday would let Medicare expand the use of telemedicine in outbreak areas, potentially reducing infection risks for vulnerable seniors. Coverage of telemedicine is now limited primarily to residents of rural areas facing long road trips for treatment from specialists. The bill would allow the government to waive those restrictions to help deal with the public health emergency created by the coronavirus outbreak. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/6)
Modern Healthcare: New Telemedicine Strategies Help Hospitals Address COVID-19
When the first U.S. patient with COVID-19 sought medical care at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (Wash.) in February, there were a host of concerns: providing high-quality care, keeping up-to-date on emerging information and reducing other patients’ exposure to the virus, not to mention minimizing exposure among the hospital’s own medical staff. Infection control is an area where telemedicine carts proved essential. The carts allowed workers roll video cameras and other telemedicine equipment into a patient’s room so a physician could check in without physically being at the bedside. (Cohen, 3/6)
In other news on technology and the coronavirus —
Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus Means We Must Telecommute. We’re Not Ready
On Thursday morning, as the number of new coronavirus cases in California climbed, crates of telecommunications equipment and prefabricated sound isolation booths started arriving at the Playa Vista headquarters of ICANN, the organization tasked with overseeing the deepest levels of the internet. ICANN, which stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, was originally set to hold its March meeting in Cancún, where policy and tech wonks from around the world would convene to hammer out the minutiae of global internet governance. (Dean, 3/6)
The New York Times: Surge Of Virus Misinformation Stumps Facebook And Twitter
First, there were conspiratorial whispers on social media that the coronavirus had been cooked up in a secret government lab in China. Then there were bogus medicines: gels, liquids and powders that immunized against the virus. And then there were the false claims about governments and celebrities and racial unrest. Taiwan was covering up virus deaths, and the illness was spiraling out of control. Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder who now runs a philanthropic organization, was behind the spread of the virus. Italians were marching in the streets, accusing Chinese people of bringing the illness to their country. None of it was true. (Frenkel, Alba and Zhong, 3/8)
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