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Virtual care is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Posted by Stephanie Tyburski on March 24, 2020

This adapted post comes from AllWays Health Partners' provider blog, Best Practice. It provides details on a partnership between AllWays Health Partners and Microsoft to offer a free telehealth app for providers to address their needs during these unprecedented times. 

Our COVID-19 response team has identified virtual care as a critical need for our providers and patients. We realize that many patients may eventually be subject to quarantine or unable to get to a provider's office. Some of our network providers have expressed concerns about how to care for quarantined or ill patients in a safe, HIPAA-compliant way.

According to David Segal, President and Chief Executive Officer, "AllWays Health Partners is committed to removing barriers and ensuring timely access to care during this public health emergency. As part of an integrated health care system, we have a unique opportunity to leverage our partnership to support all providers in our network to care for their patients and themselves."

In response to this critical need, AllWays Health Partners is working with Microsoft to offer a virtual visit platform for providers in our network. “Our organization is dedicated to finding smart solutions that make a difference for our customers," explains Mark McCormick, Chief Operating Officer. "During the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re focused on leveraging technology to enable providers to deliver the best care to our members through partners like Microsoft.”

The free virtual platform will help to protect our providers, their staff, and  patients from exposure while allowing front line providers to continue delivering much-needed care. This offer will extend for the next six months to enable our providers to care for patients throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

About our COVID-19 response team

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is now a global pandemic with over 600 cases in Massachusetts. In response, AllWays Health Partners has created a cross-functional team to address this crisis as it changes and escalates. Our COVID-19 response team includes Jim Hellinger MD MSc, an infectious disease specialist and AllWays Health Partners medical director. The COVID-19 team is responsible for:

  • Staying abreast of information from the CDC, DPH, the DOI, Partners HealthCare, and other authorities
  • Removing barriers to care and giving members the information they need to use their plan
  • Supporting providers as they work to maintain care continuity during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Implementing any necessary changes to our operational systems and administrative policies

The COVID-19 response team has already expanded telemedicine services for our members by removing cost sharing for all fully insured commercial plans. Read our coronavirus FAQ for more operational updates.

About Microsoft Teams: Empowering care teams with new tools in Microsoft 365

Health care professionals play a critical role in supporting the health, safety, and wellness of people around the world. When working in a complex care environment—made even more complex by events such as the spread of COVID-19—doctors, nurses, and other health care staff need access to tools that enable collaborative workflows to deliver high quality patient care. Both patients and clinicians need greater flexibility and convenience when it comes to being able to connect with each other across locations.

That’s why Microsoft launched new capabilities in Microsoft 365 to empower care teams to securely collaborate, communicate, and connect with patients and with each other. Read more on the Microsoft 365 website.  


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Topics: Access to care, AllWays Health Partners, Health insurance trends, COVID-19

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