As an affiliate of UMMS, Transform Health MD leveraged system-wide clinical and operational experts to stand up a community website to support healthcare organizations and practices throughout our community during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Various webinars held to review specifics of resources and provide opportunities for community members to discuss needs and connect with experts.
As public health experts determine that it is safe to see patients and stay-at-home restrictions are relaxed, physician practices should strategically plan when and how best to reopen. Transform Health MD shared the best practices and resources for practice reopening as a part of their monthly Medical Directors/CTO Collaborative meeting. CDC, AMA, AAFP, MGMA guidelines, and checklists were shared with an open discussion with all the practices with regards to their current status for Telehealth vs. in-person visits, challenges, and preparedness for practice reopening.
Care Management Support
Our Care Management team has proactively reached out to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic to check-in, identify medical and care management needs, and provide education regarding preparedness and prevention. In addition to reaching out to patients who are referred for or are already engaged in care management, we use the CRISP COVID-19 Vulnerability Index (CVI) and Likelihood of Avoidable Hospitalization tools (pre-AH) to identify and prioritize outreach to additional patients at risk. Through this proactive outreach, we have assessed and addressed social support, behavioral health, medication access, and food security needs. We have discussed advance care planning and connected patients with their primary care providers for telehealth visits.
Transform Health MD provided advisory guidance for the selection of telehealth technology. Practice Transformation team provided operationalization support and optimization of workflows for documentation, coding, and billing support, as needed, as well as updated regulatory guidance and payer-specific guidelines due to the COVID public health emergency.
How Transform Health MD has Supported Partner Practices
When the COVID-19 crisis arose, we were required to fundamentally redesign the delivery of primary care from a primarily office-based setting into one that was almost 95% telemedicine. This had to occur in less than two (2) weeks’ time. This required massive procedure changes for providers, staff, administration, business operations, and, most importantly, for our patients.
I cannot truly put into words the amount of support given to us by the QCN and CTO in the past 90 days. The Team is knowledgeable, available, ready to educate, train and inform with virtually little to no notice. We had to retrain more than 23 providers, 80 staff, and administration. We had to interact differently with offices, our ambulatory care contingent, and our local hospital.
I have found the Team to be fully competent, seeking answers, offering suggestions, and innovative in their approach. They partnered with us every step of the way as we worked to provide safe, compassionate medicine – realizing that we had to do all of that across a computer, phone, or tablet. How to communicate such an incredible change is something only an effective team can do.
They participated in two large provider and manager based virtual meetings, providing hands-on training in new ways of documenting telehealthcare in Epic, coding and billing education, and numerous other resources to make sure that we had access to our patients, and that they had access to us. Not an easy task. We learned how to download audiovisual telehealth applications, how to use them, and how to stay compliant. They created presentations that were accurate and meaningful for our Team. Things were changing rapidly, even hourly sometimes; no one lost their cool, no one made excuses. Everyone on this Team was able to stand and deliver.
Cheryl L. Ruff
Director of Practice Operations, Primary Care
University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center