Today’s news, dominated every day by the COVID-19 pandemic, is often centered on the impact of this virus on seniors living in skilled nursing and seniors housing communities. While an ocean of print is lapping at every front page in the world, regulators and policy makers have rushed to enact new measures to protect frail elders, who are most susceptible to this disease. The resulting disruption that is occurring, and which we see reflected in every news outlet, will have a lasting impact on the sector.
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.