COVID-19 – please consider the following GUIDELINES:

1) Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath;
2) Should you detect symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from initial symptoms;
3) Should your symptoms continue for more than 48 hours or if you are at high risk, 

contact your healthcare provider for further direction.

While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, we should remain calm and vigilant in our personal efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and monitor the CDC and WHO websites for up-to-date local, national, and global information. 

For more information please visit the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued new insurance rules regarding COVID-19 during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor of the State.

In order to keep people safe in the support of social distancing, telehealth services are now in effect. Telehealth means the use of electronic information and communication technologies including the telephone, by a health care provider to deliver health care services.

In network providers shall not collect any deductible, co-payments or co-insurance. Insurance companies are expected to cover that reimbursement. Prior to rendering service, you should verify behavioral health benefits and eligibility for all plan types.

Regarding Medicare Telehealth Services, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has waived certain Medicare telehealth requirements. Patients in their homes are now eligible for telehealth services. A prior relationship with the patient is no longer required and there will not be an audit to ensure such prior relationships exist for claims submitted during the public health emergency.

Regarding equipment, CMS has required both audio and video real time interactive communication; however this requirement will not be in effect during the emergency. Providers will be allowed the use of telephones that have audio and video capabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights will waive penalties for HIPAA violations for health care providers that serve patients in good faith through everyday communications technology such as FaceTime or Skype during this emergency.

Billing for all insurance services will be as if it were an in-person session. The place of service code should be 02. Reimbursements will be the same for in-person and telehealth services.

Cost sharing is still in effect for Medicare deductibles and co-insurances; however, the HHS Office of Inspector General is providing flexibility for health care providers to reduce or waive cost sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal health care programs.

The State Department of Health will ensure New Yorkers receiving Medicaid coverage have their cost covered. New Yorkers enrolled in self-funded employer-based health insurance plans that are not regulated by New York State due to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) should contact their employer to fully understand the scope of coverage.

Providers should inform their patients that services are available via telehealth.

COVID-19: Good News (3-18-20)

China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them. China shuts all 16 temporary coronavirus hospitals in Wuhan: https://nypost.com/2020/03/11/china-shuts-all-16-temporary-coronavirus-hospitals-in-wuhan/

Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Coronavirus – the science: The search for ‘patient zero’ – Doctors in India have been successful in treating coronavirus through a combination of four drugs (Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir and Chlorphenamine). They are going to suggest this be applied globally. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/coronavirus-the-science-the-search-for-patient-zero-1.4205024

Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus. Dutch researchers first to find covid-19 antibodies: report: https://nltimes.nl/2020/03/14/dutch-researchers-first-find-covid-19-antibodies-report  

A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China. Coronavirus: 103-year-old woman becomes oldest person to beat disease: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coronavirus-latest-103-year-old-woman-recovers-wuhan-hubei-china-a9393991.html

Apple reopens all 42 china stores in China have reopened. Some have been closed since early February amid coronavirus outbreak: https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/13/21177964/apple-stores-china-reopened-coronavirus-covid-19

Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days. 3/17/20: MetroHealth Medical Center can now test COVID-19 samples, results available in 2 hours: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/metrohealth-medical-center-can-now-test-covid-19-results-available-in-2-hours   3/13/20: Cleveland Clinic develops faster testing capability for the new coronavirus: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/healthcare-business/2020/03/13/Cleveland-Clinic-develops-faster-testing-capability-for-new-coronavirus/stories/202003130122

Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining. Coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in South Korea. What’s the secret to its success? https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/coronavirus-cases-have-dropped-sharply-south-korea-whats-secret-its-success

Italy is hit hard, experts say, only because they have the oldest population in Europe. Why the Corona virus hit Italy so hard? The country has the second-oldest population on earth, and its young mingle more often with elderly loved ones. https://www.wired.com/story/why-the-coronavirus-hit-italy-so-hard/

Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Scientists in Israel likely to soon announce the development of coronavirus vaccine: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/scientists-in-israel-likely-to-announce-it-developed-coronavirus-vaccine/articleshow/74592807.cms

3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered; able to return to everyday life. https://www.fox5dc.com/news/3-maryland-coronavirus-patients-fully-recovered-able-to-return-to-everyday-life

A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research. Scientists believe they’ve made a huge breakthrough in coronavirus vaccine effort: https://nypost.com/2020/03/13/canadian-scientists-make-breakthrough-in-coronavirus-vaccine-effort/

A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore. Arcturus Therapeutics says it's identified a vaccine, it's now working on manufacturing it. https://www.cbs8.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/san-diego-biotech-company-developing-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine/509-110c3c4f-1d0c-46e4-b2df-663789db6889

Tulsa County's first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery. Finally some good news: First Tulsa County COVID-19 patient has recovered, Health Department says… https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/finally-some-good-news-first-tulsa-county-covid--patient/article_8ecc6602-7270-5d2e-97f4-840cd253dc55.html

All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/seven-recover-at-safdarjung-hospital-yet-to-be-discharged/article31064785.ece 

Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19. This is well known, to treat infected patients with plasma of those who had recovered. Used by Chinese as one of the methods of treatment. Also, see some of the above and more here: https://www.goodthingsguy.com/opinion/coronavirus-15-good-news-stories-from-around-the-globe-show-things-do-get-better/

WATCH: Quarantined Italians sing together and chant "don't give up" from their balconies, filling the empty streets with noise



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