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At least one state is clearing the way for more telemedicine visits in workers compensation to limit contact between individuals in light of coronavirus quarantines and at least two providers of services for injured workers are increasing remote offerings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently called on health care facilities to use telemedicine and “other remote methods of triaging, assessing and caring for all patients to decrease the volume of persons seeking care in facilities.” On Tuesday, the federal government called on states to relax telemedicine regulations, which comp experts have said inhibited the growth of remote treatment in comp.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation initiated a temporary telehealth policy in light of the statewide COVID-19 state of emergency, allowing workers to access case from home — the state had previously excluded the home as an “origination site” for treatment. Phone visits with managed care facilities will also be permitted under the temporary policy. The changes will be in effect until Ohio lifts the state of emergency declaration.
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based Medrisk Inc., which already provides telerehab physical therapy for injured workers, announced Tuesday it plans to expand the scope of the program so injured workers do not miss appointments, allowing patients to see a therapist online for the first visit, which the company previously did not allow.
One Call Care Management Inc., a Jacksonville, Florida-based provider of comp services that include telerehab services, issued a statement Thursday that it will immediately expand its offerings to injured workers who have previously been attending sessions in a clinic setting.
More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Medical professional liability insurers are monitoring prescribing protocols in telemedicine operations, an issue of particular concern in the context of the opioids epidemic.