Smell the Flowers
We have officially survived the month of April! For many of us, it has been the longest month of our lives as we try to balance working from home, teaching our children via e-learning while schools are shut down, taking care of our aging parents, and trying to keep our pantries stocked. As you may have guessed, yes, I am a gen-xer, or as we’ve now been dubbed, the ‘sandwich generation’. While I’m not trained as a clinical provider, many of my friends are. My heart breaks hearing their stories from the frontline of healthcare workers.
By now, many of our lives have personally been touched by relatives, friends, or acquaintances who have contracted COVID-19. Maybe this makes it even more important for us to slow down to find things to celebrate in whatever fashion we can. For example, we have already taken part in several birthday parties via a parade of cars past the birthday person’s home and live videoconference parties!
As we enter the month of May, I have been looking for the spring flowers to brighten my days. I’ve already placed an order for my favorite spring flowers to decorate the front of my house and can’t wait to get my fingers in the dirt to plant them. Despite the fact that we will not see a vaccine for coronavirus for another 12-18 months, I take hope in small victories. In Indiana, there are 10 Simon property malls that are opening back up with limited hours, and hospitals are starting to offer selective medical procedures again.
You may have seen a recent press release from HSS regarding supplementary funds awarded to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. For the UMTRC, that means that we have access to new funding to create additional resources to help you succeed in treating your patients via telemedicine. Due to this current health emergency, our tiny telehealth rowboat in Lake Michigan is now a huge rescue ship! Please reach out to us through firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what types of additional resources would benefit you the most.
In April, the UMTRC offered a record number of webinars and Virtual Office Hours. These were all recorded, and are now available on the UMTRC website, along with the slides from each presentation, on the UMTRC Archived Webinars page. The expanded virtual offerings for May have been finalized and are available on the UMTRC Events page. We continue to update the UMTRC COVID-19 resource page with links to Medicare and state Medicaid guidelines and executive orders in our region of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Please join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn to receive updates on our new resources.
Please be advised that UMTRC only provides guidance on billing issues based on experience, anecdotal information we have heard in the field, and through research. Following our advice does not guarantee payment. We always recommend you check with the payer (or your Medicare Administrative Contractor) to verify UMTRC’s information.