One of the ways President Trump has tried to stem the devastating impact of the coronavirus is to expand the use of telehealth. That move is sure to help relieve hospitals who may soon be overwhelmed with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, a member of Trump's coronavirus task force, explained why the president's decision to boost telemedicine has been so crucial, especially for vulnerable senior citizens.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma: the president’s extensive expansion of telehealth is a “game changer” pic.twitter.com/xP8pFhAq8Z— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 18, 2020
"Essentially what this means is that America's seniors, 62 million of them that are on the Medicare program, can communicate and have a full visit with their doctor," Verma explained.
With relaxed regulations, seniors with or without COVID-19 symptoms can check in with their doctors via Skype FaceTime, or other video conference platforms, without having to travel or sit in a waiting room and potentially infect other people.
Verma added that Trump's emergency declaration last week was "critical" to the health care community because it allows CMS to give waivers of a lot of federal rules and red tape that get in the way of providers. This means that emergency rooms can set up alternative emergency test sites, use providers across state lines, and offer more flexibility within hospitals.
Trump's coronavirus task force, which also consists of Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, who played a major role in the battle against HIV/AIDS, will update Americans on the unpredictable situation once again at 11:30 a.m. ET.