Dancing Heart Live – online morning stretch Thursday Mornings with Kairos Live

One of the advantage of working remotely is that you should be able to take a little break when you want. I have a fun excuse to stand up and get used to online living on Thursday mornings…

Dancing Heart Live™  
Join us from your living room for an interactive dance party for  all ages and abilities!
Thursday Mornings   10:15 am – 11:00 am  on the Kairos Alive! Digital Dancefloor™ via Zoom
Dates: April 2, 9 16, 23, 30  May 7, 14, 21, 28
To join us: ​ https://zoom.us/j/710280870  maria@kairosalive.org

Kairos works in different communities and with assisted living facilities. I’m going to say if you have small children at home and/or elderly parents or grandparents at another location – this might be a fun way to meet up online! If you’ve been looking for a reason to get elderly relatives online – the lure of seeing grandkids can be pretty motivating!! And it does get you moving.

Also here are some instructions for using Zoom; they are perfect for anyone with limited digital experience. Or if when you try to access it you run into issues, like it doesn’t just start up.

Chairman Pai Announces Plan for $200 Million COVID-19 Telehealth Program

From the FCC

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai
today announced his plan for a COVID-19 Telehealth Program to support health care providers responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As part of the CARES Act, Congress appropriated $200 million to the FCC to support health care providers’ use of telehealth services in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. If adopted by the Commission, the Program would help eligible health care providers purchase telecommunications, broadband
connectivity, and devices necessary for providing telehealth services. These services would directly help COVID-19 patients and provide care to patients with other conditions who might risk contracting the coronavirus when visiting a healthcare provider—while reducing practitioners’ potential exposure to the virus.
The Chairman has also presented his colleagues with final rules to stand up a broader, longerterm Connected Care Pilot Program. It would study how connected care could be a permanent part of the Universal Service Fund by making available up to $100 million of universal service support over three years to help defray eligible health care providers’ costs of providing telehealth services to patients at their homes or mobile locations, with an emphasis on
providing those services to low-income Americans and veterans.
“As we self-isolate and engage in social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth will continue to become more and more important across the country. Our nation’s health care providers are under incredible, and still increasing, strain as they fight the pandemic. My plan
for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is a critical tool to address this national emergency. I’m calling on my fellow Commissioners to vote promptly to adopt the draft order I circulated today, so that we can take immediate steps to provide support for telehealth services and devices to health care providers during this national crisis,” said Chairman Pai. “I’d like to thank Congress for acting with bipartisan decisiveness to allocate funding for the COVID-19
Telehealth Program and Commissioner Carr for his leadership on telehealth issues, including the Connected Care Pilot Program.”
“I am grateful to Chairman Pai for his leadership in accelerating this important initiative and for fast-tracking a COVID-19 Telehealth Program. This decision will further strengthen the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and help Americans access high-quality
healthcare without having to visit a hospital in person,” said Commissioner Carr.
About the COVID-19 Telehealth Program: This $200 million Program would immediately support health care providers responding to the pandemic by providing eligible health care providers support to purchase telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to enable the provision of telehealth services during this emergency period. It would provide selected applicants with full funding for these eligible telehealth services and devices.
In order to receive funding, eligible health care providers would submit a streamlined application to the Commission for this program, and the Commission would award funds to selected applicants on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted or until the current pandemic has ended.
About the Connected Care Pilot Program: This three-year Pilot Program would provide universal service support to help defray health care providers’ qualifying costs of providing connected care services. It would target funding to eligible health care providers, with a primary focus on pilot projects that would primarily benefit low-income or veteran patients.
The Pilot Program would make available up to $100 million, which would be separate from the budgets of the existing Universal Service Fund programs and the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The Pilot Program would provide funding for selected pilot projects to cover 85% of
the eligible costs of broadband connectivity, network equipment, and information services necessary to provide connected care services to the intended patient population. In order to participate, eligible health care providers would submit an application to the Commission for the Pilot Program, and the Commission would announce the selected pilot projects.
For updates on the FCC’s wide array of actions during the coronavirus pandemic, visit:
https://www.fcc.gov/coronavirus. For more information on the FCC’s Keep Americans
Connected Pledge, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/keep-americans-connected.

Telehealth at the Mayo Clinic – today and moving forward

KARE 11 TV reports on Mayo Clinic’s use of telehealth since the threat of coronavirus…

Mayo Clinic is providing care to patients through telehealth that includes video appointments, remote patient monitoring, interactive care plans, primary care concerns, specialty visits and COVID-related visits.

“All of the patients that I’ve taken care of—and I’m a cardiologist—I’ve taken care of by video for the past three weeks and that’s increasing more and more,” said Dr. Steve Ommen, medical director for Mayo Clinic’s Center for Connected Care.

Even more exciting, to me, than the increase in telehealth use now is the implication that we’ve set a new bar for telehealth with changes in regulations…

The government has temporarily relaxed some regulations that were barriers to delivering telehealth. That includes allowing doctors to practice telemedicine across state lines.

“In order to deliver care to a patient, I really was required to be licensed in the state where they were during the interaction,” Dr. Ommen explained.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also expanded coverage for telehealth services. Prior to this waiver, Medicare could only pay for telehealth on a limited basis that included patients who lived in designated rural areas.

And the patient expectations…

He added, “The patients are going to appreciate how convenient it is to get care this way and keep them safe. And third, the care teams are all going to be ramped up to do it now in a way that’s going to be just a standard part of their practice.”

According to Dr. Ommen, those three things will put telehealth in a stronger position than it was in just a couple months ago.

Coronavirus is excuse for dental office to move to telehealth

Twin Cities Business interviewed the Minnesota Head & Neck Pain Clinic in Plymouth about their coronavirus-inspired move to telehealth and the door it opens to future telehealth options…

We’re now able to see new patient consultations as well as provide care for our existing patients. I’m hopeful that the government will recognize that telemedicine options improved better access of care. With the deregulation and commitment of insurers to cover the cost of telehealth visits this has the potential to continue an outreach clinic for those in rural or outstate areas or for those that don’t have easy access to care. The nature of what we offer for orofacial pain, TMJ disorders and headaches is unique. I hope that once the acute public health issues that we’re experiencing with the Covid-19 virus subside, we’ll be able to continue to offer these services and improve access to care.

Washburn Center for Children Adopting telehealth with help from Medica

Medica reports

Medica today announced it would allocate $1 million in emergency donations among 18 Minnesota non-profit organizations that play important roles in addressing health needs of the most vulnerable people in communities statewide, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Funding is being made available through the Medica Foundation.

At least one donation went to telehealth…

Washburn Center for Children [in Minneapolis] will receive $100,000 to advance their telehealth capabilities and meet the urgent mental health needs for children with social, emotional and behavioral problems, and their families.

“Washburn is committed to ensuring access to mental health care for children and families during this unparalleled time,” said Tom Steinmetz, CEO, Washburn Center for Children. “We are grateful for Medica’s emergency response support that will equip our 165 therapists with telehealth tools to connect with families and deliver critical therapies. We are singularly focused on the well-being of children and families we serve and Medica is vital in helping us adapt quickly to meet those needs.”

RiverView Health In Crookston implements telehealth (Polk County)

Crookston Times reports…

During this time of uncertainty, RiverView Health is taking every precaution to protect its patients and staff regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth, or video visits, are now offered, when applicable, for patients with chronic conditions and other needs who are able to receive care without visiting a clinic.

Most RiverView providers are now available via telehealth for the following appointments:

  • Follow-ups/rechecks
  • Medication check-in/refills
  • Test results
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Establish care, with limitations of a physical exam

If you already have an appointment for one of the reasons above, you will receive a call from a patient access representative to determine if a telehealth visit is feasible. Most insurance providers have extended coverage to telehealth visits, including Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, United Healthcare/UMR, and Humana. Your patient access representative can help you determine if your insurance will cover a telehealth visit.

EVENT Mar 30: Human Services’ Calls with the Governor’s Office

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Reports

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, in conjunction with the office of Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, is pleased to host a series of four weekly Calls with Governor’s Office featuring updates for nonprofits on Minnesota’s response to COVID-19.
The Governor’s office values the state’s nonprofit partners and would like to easily give information as news is breaking in this changing environment. Each free virtual chat will take place over the next four Mondays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and will feature Gov. Walz, Lt. Gov. Flanagan, or both.
The first call will focus on information for, and questions from, nonprofits in the human services sectors. Visit MCN’s event page in the coming weeks for information on future calls.

On the face of it, this isn’t necessarily broadband-related, unless of course you had questions about the inequity of broadband connectivity in rural areas impacting ability to access government services or adhere to sheltering in place executive order.