CPF has hosted webinars on Employment Law in the Coronavirus Landscape, Real Estate Strategies in an Unstable Market, and Adapting to Telehealth as a Community Practice aimed at helping members manage the COVID-19 outbreak. Find those links and more below:
TNAAP is holding a webinar on Wednesday, April 8 at 6:30 PM that will provide guidance on how to implement telehealth. Telehealth experts Suzanne Berman, MD, and Sue Kressley, MD, will be featured as guests.
TDH provided the following testing update on April 1:
Testing has expanded significantly via both commercial and state lab availability over the last several weeks and turnaround time is improving although it is still significantly longer than is ideal. TDH continues to urge prioritizing testing for the sickest and most at-risk patients and to quarantine when appropriate.
As diagnostic capacity expands to office-based point-of-care tests, TDH reminds providers that any confirmed cases of COVID-19 must be reported immediately to 615-741-7247.
Regarding testing of uninsured patients, a step-by-step guide to be reimbursed by TDH for these tests when ordered from commercial labs is linked below:
TDH continues to encourage patients to seek care first from their usual site of care and to enable providers to accommodate that need. Shortages of PPE, of testing supplies, and of testing site availability are increasingly common.
TDH is looking for every opportunity to fix those issues but permanent solutions are not immediately available and TDH needs your help in addressing shortages by implementing strategies to conserve PPE and by putting procedures into place to minimize unnecessary tests.
Providers do NOT need to consult with public health before sending a test to a commercial lab. Providers are advised to prioritize testing highly symptomatic and not asymptomatic individuals.
The TN Emergency Medical Agency (EMA) and local EMA agencies are now coordinating both donations of PPE and requests for PPE or supplies (including testing materials). Contact information for the local EMA entities coordinating these requests can be found at the link:
There has been a rapid expansion in reimbursement opportunities for telehealth, now including home-based telehealth coverage by nearly every plan in the state during this time of public health response.
Guidance from TDH: Please utilize teleheath and telephone triage as much as possible for both sick and well patients. This is critical to minimize public exposure to illness and to optimize capacity for routine and emergent care. Utilization of telehealth and telephonic management should be optimized in all settings.
Clinical staff looking for employment are needed to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as hospitals put plans into place to increase their capacity. TDH is converting the volunteer medical mobilizer into a tool that registers clinical/non-clinical volunteers and those clinicians and staff seeking employment.
Those who have availability to help meet growing staffing needs can register at the link below:
The CDC has adjusted recommendations for isolation of cases at home to be for at least7 days (not 14),including afebrile and feeling well for at least 72 hours. The TN Dept of Health has adapted this recommendation as well.
Note: Contacts should still remain quarantined for 14 days following last exposure.
Public health staff are changing their monitoring protocol to include:
Making initial contact with lab confirmed cases
Conducting a thorough interview to identify close contacts
Ensuring that the cases understand the requirement to remain isolated
Contacting close contacts to explain their exposure, and the recommendation to remain home for 14 days following their exposure
Following the initial interview, public health will no longer actively check in with the patient (or contacts) each day, but rather ask the case to get in touch with their provider if they need medical care and public health if they have exposure, isolation, or quarantine questions.
NEWBORN NURSERY GUIDANCE
The TN Dept of Health does NOT recommend early (<24 hours after birth) discharges for newborns. Further guidance can be found at the link: