With the recent change in policy around Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, and the escalating pace of the spread of the coronavirus, seniors housing operators can use support for telehealth as a way to keep residents healthy to maintain census, and also as a sales tool for future move-ins. As a follow-on to the NIC Spring Conference panel discussion on telehealth, experts shared their thoughts on specific steps seniors housing communities can take both during the COVID-19 emergency and also on an ongoing basis.
Medicare just announced that it will − temporarily − reimburse for telehealth-provided services, opening an opportunity for seniors housing providers to provide residents with access to vital health services without exposing them to pathogens circulating at hospitals and clinics as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
In the growing and evolving value-based health care world, “strategic upstream and downstream partnerships are vital for survival,” said Joseph Kiernan, chief strategy officer at Ocean Healthcare, at the recent NIC Spring Conference. Traditional health care providers such as hospitals, home health companies, and skilled nursing facilities have been building partnership networks for years. Seniors housing providers have typically been a lesser part of these networks, but many operators who attended the conference educational sessions are considering integrating health care services into their communities.