CHICAGO, May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With the U.S. healthcare system overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 patients, a telemedicine service has been helping to stem the tide by screening seniors in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, an all-too-common result of lack of access to physicians during nights and weekends.
Patients transferred to a nursing facility have a 25% likelihood of hospital readmission within 30 days; many bounce back more than once. When a physician cannot be located in a timely manner, nurses usually send patients to already overburdened hospitals.
The service, Maxwell Telecare, provides post-acute care facilities with remote access to a dedicated primary care physician during off hours. "We meet urgent needs within minutes, managing acute changes in condition; we can quickly either rule out a serious problem such as the novel coronavirus or use vital signs to signal that a patient needs immediate testing/treatment," said Maxwell founder and CEO Andrew Rosenson, MD, who has long experience managing teleradiology practices.
Physicians in Maxwell's network are trained in providing remote care to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They are assigned to specific facilities, so they develop relationships with the patients they serve. Staff are directed to use advanced diagnostic tools provided by Maxwell, including Bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes, EKGs and ultrasound, as well as a live video stream.
"We are grateful that we have this wonderful tool bringing rapid access to virtual care to our residents," said Jeff Davis, director of operations for SW Management, which operates skilled nursing and hospice agencies in the St. Louis area. "Maxwell Telecare has been an invaluable adjunct to our efforts to improve resident outcomes."
The program also includes scheduled specialist televisits in regular working hours, allowing patients to avoid long waits and costly transportation to physician offices.
Maxwell places an on-site professional in each facility to perform assessments of patients' likelihood of readmission, which may trigger a preemptive intervention by clinical staff.
With Medicare recently being directed to reimburse for telehealth visits to nursing homes and other senior facilities and relax regulations to allow physicians to practice telemedicine in states where they are not licensed, it is much easier to quickly establish a physician network, Rosenson said. "Most patients who use our doctors are treated on site."
Principal, Quo Vadimus Communications
SOURCE Maxwell Telecare