It was early February when I first felt the tides changing. I remember it well. I was having lunch with a friend – another doctor – and the situation in China was bleak. We agreed it was only a matter of time before the novel coronavirus would erupt in the United States. As medical professionals, we knew that contagious diseases don’t just stay in a box, no matter how much ...

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As we’ve listened to providers describe their reactions to this pandemic, telehealth continues to be a pervasive theme at the foundation of their response. They refer to this as a “watershed” event that will permanently change healthcare delivery. In that context, many expressed concern that the current relaxation of regulations, and as importantly, the parity payments for telehealth services will be retracted as the crisis eases. While most agree that ...

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COVID-19 has propelled the nation into widespread telehealth services to provide consumer-based care, especially for those who access this technology. Equity issues arise when using digital communication because many underserved populations lack access to digital and/or mobile services. Inevitably, this brings up the greater concern of an unintentional exacerbation of disparities because low-income groups face limited access to both computers, mobile services, and the internet. Hence, investing in access to ...

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When it comes to using telehealth to treat patients out of state, most physicians are mindful about licensure issues. But some are not aware that if you don’t have a license to practice medicine in a given state, it isn’t just malpractice: It’s a criminal offense. Licensing restrictions have been eased to facilitate care during the pandemic, and the new normal of greater state-to-state cooperation for access to care may persist ...

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The stuffing of things into organs for a desired effect, in this case, fattening a goose, is first recorded in Ancient Egypt and has since been used in multiple culinary traditions. It is now best known for French cuisine. What gastronomes desire animal welfare people abhor. The preferred method is to put more things (food) into an organ (stomach) to cause a secondary change (liver). I am sure the geese ...

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As we navigate everyday life in the midst of battling COVID-19, our thoughts naturally migrate to what medicine might look like post viral pandemic. As the new norms of social distancing, virtual meetings, and little to no human contact continue, we cannot help but wonder will these new social norms become permanent behavior patterns? And if so, what implications do they have for the physician and patient alike? Humans are a social ...

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Almost overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted how we deliver primary care to patients. Before the pandemic, telehealth seemed to be a way to deliver urgent care for acute issues to a select group of tech-savvy patients. Now, at least in my practice, the majority of primary care (acute care, chronic disease management, and preventive care) is being delivered through “telehealth,” meaning that we conduct visits virtually via video ...

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"The COVID-19 pandemic has upended health care, with telemedicine emerging as a strategy to reduce risk exposures for patients and clinicians. Video visits, in particular, can be effective for many types of clinical care and offer convenience and savings for patients. As care shifts to this virtual modality, however, there is a risk of jeopardizing the meaningful human interaction that is ...

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In so far as our current public health emergency is concerned, telehealth has obvious, indisputable benefits.  The redirection of patient flow has enabled the conservation of personal protective gear, decreased nosocomial transmission of the coronavirus, and, therefore, saved lives, especially those who are immunocompromised, who are far more likely to contract COVID-19 as well as experience worse outcomes. As most of us fully appreciate, telehealth is not, however, a mere ...

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"All too often, physicians and other health care providers have tried to do the right things for our patients to ultimately have had our hand slapped. So pause for a second, get the questions answered, know what future implications are for today’s actions. Make the right choice for your patient, and for yourself, especially if it means amending your contract before you ...

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I stirred awake when my husband’s cell phone rang.  It was early, and we had gone to bed late, and slept little.  My father-in-law was in the ICU in a hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He was now intubated, hooked up to a ventilator, victim to COVID-19.  We would eagerly await phone calls from the ICU physician or nurse, wanting updates on how he was doing.   Did his oxygen saturation ...

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This article is sponsored by Medici. Telemedicine has increased exponentially since the rise of COVID-19. It reduces COVID-19 exposure risk for both patients and providers. In many ways, telehealth has become an essential service for physicians and other health service workers. Still, with the rapid rise of the pandemic, many providers have difficulty navigating the billing side of ...

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Until about 50 to 100 years ago, the tradition was to name diseases after the doctors who used to describe them for the first time. Such diseases are called eponymous diseases. There are numerous examples, such as Alzheimer's disease, Marfan's syndrome, and Wilson's disease, to name a few. Often, specific signs and symptoms were named after certain occupations, sports or other traits. For example, athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the ...

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COVID-19 essentially shut down my in-person primary care practice, and we immediately turned to telemedicine (“seeing” a patient virtually either through a phone or video-based visit). My primary care group did this out of necessity, but nobody predicted how much we would like it, or how effective it can be for patient care. The most obvious benefit is time savings. There is no travel time – for me or the patient. No ...

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We have all heard that 90 percent of the time, a patient’s history provides the diagnosis before we even perform a physical exam or order any tests. At the same time, much of our reimbursement used to hinge on how many body systems we examined. Like so many other things in the new reality we find ourselves in, what constitutes a proper medical visit has suddenly changed and will probably continue ...

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Little did I know when I selected my sub-specialty during residency that 15 years later, we would be at the forefront of a pandemic. Over the last eight weeks, I have, just like many physicians trained in pulmonary and critical care medicine, spent countless hours in the intensive care unit (ICU) treating patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Medical literature surrounding the critical care management of ...

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As far as psychiatrists go, I admit I'm odd, even in a field known for its quirks. I'm fast-talking, irreverent, and most patients tell me I'm not what they expected, but they come back. I'm not for everyone, and that's OK. I love my field but didn't always feel the field loved me. At a conference workshop, as a PGY-III, in a room of 40 other psychiatrists, mostly attendings, the leader pulled ...

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An increasing number of institutions are relying on telemedicine to continue delivering care to patients in lieu of typical outpatient visits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine has been lauded as a potential equalizer in health care access. Indeed, it allows for safe and easy access to medical professionals. It especially benefits patients with transportation issues or those seeking specialty care from far away. Some pitfalls such ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended health care, with telemedicine emerging as a strategy to reduce risk exposures for patients and clinicians. Originating from the Greek root tēle-, tēl-, tēle meaning "far off, afar, at or to a distance," telemedicine encompasses virtual clinical services. Video visits, in particular, can be effective for many types of clinical care and offer convenience and savings for patients. As care ...

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers (HCPs) transitioned their clinical practice to telemedicine in the last few weeks.  As recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautioned that older adults, 65 years or older, were at a higher risk for illness with the virus, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) “broadened access to telehealth services so that ...

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