WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), along with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), led a bipartisan letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, requesting that during the coronavirus pandemic, the Administration consider implementation of an innovative model of care utilized in both Nevada and Louisiana that combines the care of at-home visits with the technology of tele-health services.

“Over the last several months it has become very clear just how critical telehealth services are to ensuring access to care,” wrote the Senators. “This is also an opportunity to leverage telehealth to not only serve as a stop-gap measure during a pandemic, but to transform care delivery by using telehealth as a valuable tool in caring for patients both now and in the future.”

“We would like to bring to your attention a model of care that has been used in our states, and request your consideration for supporting the growth of this type of care delivery. Under this model, patients are able to contact a health care provider company, which then sends a nurse or paramedic to the patient’s home. This mid-level medical provider connects with a physician through telehealth. The on-site provider can do a patient assessment, check vital signs, perform some tests, and even take bloodwork if necessary,” the Senators’ letter continued. “This innovative model combines the classic house call with modern technology to efficiently utilize medical providers’ time while increasing access to patient care in the comfort and safety of their own home.”

Read the Senators’ full letter here or below:

Dear Administrator Verma:

Over the last several months it has become very clear just how critical telehealth services are to ensuring access to care. This is also an opportunity to leverage telehealth to not only serve as a stop-gap measure during a pandemic, but to transform care delivery by using telehealth as a valuable tool in caring for patients both now and in the future.

We would like to bring to your attention a model of care that has been used in our states, and request your consideration for supporting the growth of this type of care delivery. Under this model, patients are able to contact a health care provider company, which then sends a nurse or paramedic to the patient’s home. This mid-level medical provider connects with a physician through telehealth. The on-site provider can do a patient assessment, check vital signs, perform some tests, and even take bloodwork if necessary. This helps patients who may not be able to fully use telehealth by themselves, and also allows for a greater range of care to be provided. If the patient needs a higher level of care, the on-site medical provider can arrange for emergency transportation or have the patient do a follow-up visit directly with their doctor. This helps ensure the patient gets the right type of care in the right setting—avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits. Especially during a pandemic, this also protects seniors and other vulnerable populations from exposure to COVID-19, or if they have the virus, protects others from exposure to them.

This innovative model combines the classic house call with modern technology to efficiently utilize medical providers’ time while increasing access to patient care in the comfort and safety of their own home. We appreciate your attention and look forward to working with you on this important issue.

Sincerely,

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