Date posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2020
OHN recognizes that our providers and practice staff are the front line of COVID -19 defense for communities across the Gulf South. Our goal is to provide you with resources and support during this time. We greatly appreciate all that you do every day and even more so during this crisis.
To highlight some of the key areas OHN is looking to support its providers through the COVID-19 pandemic:
Telehealth Capability Offerings
OHN is pleased to announce the development of three enhanced telehealth solutions to support our network providers and their patients. The first two empower you to have virtual visits with your own patients, while the third enables you to provide care for any patients seeking care:
- For providers on the Epic EMR, a completely integrated telehealth option for video visits is available at a subsidized cost.
- Led by Lafayette General Health, and built upon an existing arrangement with AmWell, one of the world’s leading telemedicine providers, OHN is announcing a comprehensive telehealth solution for any practice in our network at no cost during the COVID-19 emergency. Over 30 community practices across 17 different specialties in the Lafayette region have already implemented the Health Anywhere platform and this offering is now available to any OHN physician practice. The on-boarding process is simple and a practice can be self-sufficiently scheduling and seeing patients via the platform within a day.
- Ochsner’s AnywhereCare and Lafayette General Health’s HealthAnywhere have broad virtual physician networks to support any patients seeking 24/7 urgent care or behavioral health care. Ochsner is looking to add community providers, including Critical Care, Family Medicine, and Pediatric specialties, to join its Virtual Provider Network to support the significant increase in volume, and is paying providers on a per visit basis. To further support our communities during the pandemic, Ochsner is offering virtual visits for only $10 to any patient seeking care.
If your practice is interested in exploring or further discussion any of the above options, please complete the very brief OHN Telehealth Solutions Form, and someone will be in touch with next steps.
OHN Provider Advocacy Efforts
- QBPC Care Management Fees – As care priorities shift and we see a disruption to preventive and non-critical visits, this creates a potentially negative impact to a quality and performance in 2020. To that end, OHN reached out to Blue Cross to request that no providers current tier will be lowered at the May re-tiering period, so as not to negatively impact care management fees. BCBSLA has made the decision to honor this request. Please read the official BCBSLA communication.
- OHN has additionally reached out to United Healthcare and Humana to advocate for similar relaxation of existing or planned quality measurement requirements and will keep the network informed of those changes as they are formalized.
Accelerated and Advanced Medicare Payment Program
In order to increase cash flow to providers of services and suppliers impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded its current Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to providers who have billed Medicare for claims in the previous 180 days. Most providers will be able to request up to 100% of the Medicare payment amount for a three-month period. Full eligibility and process facts can be found by clicking this link. Providers in LA and MS can access application submission site through this link.
The CARES Act seeks to provide funding to small businesses to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing forgivable loans to qualifying small businesses under 500 employees of up to $10 million. Many physician practices are likely eligible for these loans, and they could provide up to 8 weeks of payroll, rent and other expenses.
These loan applications are now being accepted through U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved lenders, and lenders began processing loan applications April 3. Not all banks will be participating, so it is advised that interested organizations contact their bank early, as demand for the loans is expected to be significant. The SBA’s loan guidance and resources are available here.
- Stimulus Package for Healthcare Providers - On March 27, 2020, the House passed a $2 trillion coronavirus bill that includes $100 billion for hospitals. The federal stimulus measures provide hospitals with three points of relief: (1)a 20% payment increase for all services provided, (2) $100 billion in grants to help in the fight against coronavirus, as well as, for services cancelled or delayed due to the coronavirus crisis, and (3) suspension of the scheduled 2% Medicare sequestration cut until the end of this year.
Date posted: March 17, 2020
With the uncertainty surrounding the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, people are looking to their trusted healthcare providers, their entire medical team, and office staff at their local physician’s office for guidance. OHN recognizes that its providers and practice staff are the front line of defense for communities across the Gulf South, and so our goal is to provide resources and support during this time.
Ochsner has created a hotline for guidance and COVID-19 information to help patients with general questions and concerns. The hotline will be staffed by patient navigators who can assist with non-clinical questions. Please feel free to direct your patients to call the hotline at 1-844-888-2772.
In the Lafayette region, for those with general questions, concerns with being asymptomatic or experiencing symptoms, Lafayette General Health has created a specific line at 1-855-206-9675 to speak directly with a nurse or care coordinator.
For clinical needs, we have the Ochsner On Call line at 1-800-231-5257 or 504-842-3155 for immediate assistance and guidance on whether an in-person visit is needed.
- Ochsner On Call is a free service providing appointment booking, health education and advisory services and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- We have drastically increased staffing at Ochsner On Call to serve the community better and to support the significant increase in call volume.
Additionally, to manage the strain on healthcare resources, we recommend that if your practice is not equipped with virtual visit capabilities, you can direct concerned patients to start a Virtual Visit with a provider at www.ochsner.org/virtualvisits by downloading Ochsner’s Anywhere Care App, or through Lafayette General’s Health Anywhere.
Due to higher than normal usage and continued expected increase in volume, Ochsner is offering shifts to community physicians who can staff Ochsner’s Anywhere Care platform for urgent care visits, and Ochsner will pay a per visit rate. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are interested.
If you have evaluated patients with symptoms of acute viral respiratory infection AND fever of 100.4 or above, or are immunocompromised (see updated CDC evaluation and testing guidance),the staff at the following Ochsner locations are available for testing:
In addition to testing, for patients that do not have means for home virtual visits services at the three Ochsner urgent care locations above have been modified to serve individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. These clinics can accommodate synchronous exams leveraging Tyto’s stethoscope, otoscope, thermal thermometer, and more.
As we continue to learn about more confirmed COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, we know that you have questions. We wanted to share the following resources to assist you and will continue to provide updates through the outbreak.
- CDC COVID-19 Updates
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Department of Health | State of Louisiana
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- Coronavirus | Ochsner Health
- AAFP COVID-19 Home Preparedness Tips for your patients
Please feel free to send any questions you have directly to OHN Medical Director, Dr. Beau Raymond, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Updates: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Critical Healthcare Supply Chain Resources: https://lnkd.in/g-YTguA
World Health Organization (WHO) Info on COVID-19: https://lnkd.in/gk4dwrw
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Info on COVID-19 (USA): https://lnkd.in/geP4hB7
CNN Links to State-by-State Info on COVID-19 (USA): https://lnkd.in/gG7jSy2
Phone-Based Social-Service Program Referrals (USA): www.211.org
Social-Service Programs by Zip (USA): www.auntbertha.com
List N of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (USA): https://lnkd.in/gqk8zvU
Emergency Preparedness Info (USA): www.ready.gov
Disaster Assistance Info (USA): www.disasterassistance.gov
Disaster Loan Assistance (USA): https://lnkd.in/gz-q-ub
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) COVID-9 Food Program: https://lnkd.in/gvb-sAJ
AARP Health Updates on COVID-19 (USA): http://bit.ly/33qhcVQ
COVID-19 Communication Ideas: https://www.openideo.com/challenge-briefs/covid19-communication-challenge
Tech Platform for Launching Helplines: https://www.visionlink.org
Google Media Principles for COVID-19: https://lnkd.in/ggVvdqD