IDAHO NARRATIVE REPORT HEADLINE WITH MAP

GENERAL THEME

·      COVID-19 is prompting a huge interest and growth in Telehealth with everyone rushing to acquire Telehealth equipment and expertise

·      Idaho has relaxed its Telehealth regulations and has issued temporary licenses allowing retired physicians from out of state to provide TeleHealth services for 120 days

·      Almost 300 physicians have already taken advantage of the temporary licenses and are practicing Telehealth with Idaho residents from outside Idaho

BENEFITS SO FAR

·      Almost no cancelations of Telehealth appointments, apparently because TeleHealth requires no travel time, effort, or money

·      Patients seem to open up more on the phone than they do in person

·      Improved compliance, perhaps because of greater family engagement; when family members listen in on the call they’re in a better position to assist the patient in following treatment, prescription, and therapy protocols

·      Even OBI and GI physicians are seeing more compliance and greater connectivity

·      One physician proudly announced an unintended result in his own practice: “My dialogue and communication skills have improved dramatically.”

·      Several others agreed and said they are seeing and hearing the same things

THE ONLY NEGATIVE

·      TeleHealth coding is tricky

TWO OTHER THINGS

·      One physicians said the distraction of COVID is reducing the focus on drugs among his patients with SUDs

·      Many patients are requesting opioid-free surgeries in order to prevent opioid addiction. The surgeries are still covered by insurance. Instead of opioids, those patients are taking Tylenol before the surgery and practicing breathing techniques.