In response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19 across the nation and globe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended various measures to reduce unnecessary health care visits and prevent transmission. Virtual care figures prominently in these recommendations, and telemedicine provider Bluestream Health has stepped up to provide its solution to caregivers free of charge.
Telemedicine, in particular, is crucial to the fight against COVID-19 because it reduces the risk of exposure for front-line health care professionals, other patients, and hospital visitors and lessens the on-site clinic burden. As 80% of COVID-19 patients experience only mild illness, hospitals and clinics have become swamped with concerned patients, many of whom may only have the common cold and could benefit from an initial online triage.
In addition to being free of charge, Bluestream’s virtual care solution is HIPAA-compliant and requires no downloads, account setup or commitment. All providers need to do is enter their name and email address, and then they can invite patients to a video session via email or text.
What’s more, telemedicine sessions carried out over Bluestream’s platform are likely eligible for reimbursement through Medicare, state funding or health insurers. The recently enacted Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 allocates $500 million to Medicare telehealth services spending, and all the major insurance companies have agreed to cover the costs of telemedicine associated with COVID-19.
Large-scale enterprise health systems have already been using Bluestream to successfully triage and treat suspected COVID-19 patients over the past few weeks, proving the solution’s viability. The company quickly realized the impact it could have in combating COVID-19 with a free public offering.