CMS expanded the range of services that telemedicine can provide in a March 17 ruling, enabling physicians to see more patients through virtual appointments and ease the burden on emergency rooms and urgent care centers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, Becker's Spine Review has reported on 10 practices that are expanding telemedicine at their facilities:
Rothman Orthopaedics in Philadelphia turned to telemedicine to connect with patients and review imaging. The practice officially launched its telemedicine efforts on March 25 and received more than 300 appointment requests within the first few hours.
Physicians of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in Chicago are seeing patients via telemedicine from their homes and shifting to in-person visits at the clinic only when absolutely necessary.
New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery suspended non-essential care and accelerated scaling of its telehealth services.
On March 27, Texas Back Institute in Plano postponed all elective cases for two weeks and, relying on virtual visits and telemedicine to conduct follow-ups with patients.
Neurosurgeon Brian Gantwerker, MD, of Los Angeles in Santa Monica and Encino, Calif., also boosted telemedicine services, adding that the coronavirus pandemic may be "the kick commercial payers needed to jumpstart telemedicine initiatives."
Atlanta-based Resurgens Orthopaedics is offering telemedicine appointments for patients with non-urgent orthopaedic needs.
Rockville, Md.-based National Spine and Pain Centers installed a telemedicine initiative for patients suffering from chronic pain, providing access to NSPC-affiliated pain management physicians in 10 states, including New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida.
Richmond-based OrthoVirginia is offering orthopedic urgent care at five locations and is continuing to provide telemedicine services to patients in need.
The Core Institute is providing telemedicine services as well as orthopedic urgent care at its Phoenix and Novi, Ariz., locations.
Olympia (Wash.) Orthopaedic Associates canceled all elective cases at local hospitals and is expanding telemedicine services for patients.