medical staff holding tablet conducting telehealth visit/remote care screening

FCC Telehealth Funds Overview

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. As part of this new law, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was provided $200 million to fund telehealth services and devices for non-profit and public eligible healthcare providers. This $200 million will be used to streamline care delivery through the subsidization of telehealth programs across the country. Eligible hospitals and health centers are now able to apply for funding up to $1 million to cover the cost of implementing a telehealth program, including new devices, services, and medical personnel, into their clinical workflows.

So, what is telehealth? Telehealth is described as the delivery and facilitation of health care services through the use of remote, mobile technologies. These services include medical care, provider and patient education, health information tools, and self-care via telecommunication and digital communication technologies. Telehealth is comprised of four primary mechanisms that enable remote care delivery: mobile health, video conferencing, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and a “store and forward” electronic transmission of data, and documentation.

While the funding is directly tied to enabling telehealth for providers and their patients, additional measures can be taken to begin the implementation of digital health solutions. Digital health encompasses a range of categories that cover how technology can be implemented in healthcare to provide additional metrics and monitoring for at-risk patients. This includes wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and more. The cliexa platform offers the full suite of digital health solutions in one package and can be leveraged for the funding made available by the FCC in this release.

What Can the Telehealth Funds be Used for?

Funds may be applied to the implementation of telecommunications services, information services, and connected devices to connect providers with their patients in response to COVID-19. This includes freeing up time and resources for healthcare professionals to treat COVID-19. Monitoring devices (e.g., pulse-oximeters or blood pressure monitoring devices) and wearables that patients can use and then share the results with their healthcare provider will not be funded unless they are themselves connected. Funds also may not be used for administrative expenses related to the program (e.g., application costs and expenses) or other miscellaneous expenses. Your awarded funds can be used to implement an all-encompassing virtual health platform, such as cliexa.

Rather than replacing the solutions you have already found, cliexa complements them to increase your capabilities throughout this shift to remote care with digital intake, remote check-in, custom discrete data delivery, telehealth plug-ins, and more. With these new features, all registration and pre-screening can be done remotely for new and follow-up patients via their smartphones or tablets. If you decided to conduct telehealth visits, we also support plug-ins to provide all the necessary documentation upfront to the patient. The data will then discretely populate into a customizable format in the existing medical record flow. Whether you are looking to implement telehealth or a variety of digital health solutions, the FCC funds can be used for multiple aspects of the cliexa platform.

Eligibility & Criteria

According to the FCC report and order, for-profit hospitals will not be allowed to apply. The COVID-19 telehealth funding is limited to the following institutions:

  • Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, teaching hospitals, and medical schools
  • Community health centers or health centers providing healthcare to migrants
  • Local health departments or agencies
  • Community mental health centers
  • Not-for-profit hospitals
  • Rural health clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Consortia of healthcare providers consisting of one or more entities falling into the first seven categories

The FCC has not specified a limit on how much it will award to applicants, but it does not expect to award more than $1 million to any applicant. The FCC will award support to eligible applicants based on the estimated costs they aim to purchase, outlined in the application process. Applicants that have exhausted initial funding may request further support. Applicants that are selected may apply to receive funding from the Connected Care Pilot Program but may not request funding for the same exact services from both programs.

How cliexa Can Help

Whether you exclusively enable telehealth or specific features of digital health, cliexa is the ideal partner to streamline the full-stack of virtual health for health systems and community-based health centers. With cliexa, patients can be remotely checked-in, pre-screened, and registered before entering the care facility. The data collected is then sent through the existing medical record or preferred format, limiting the steps taken by medical staff to on-board and treat patients. The platform is 100% customizable to fit the specific workflow already in place, enabling a tailored solution that seamlessly integrates with minimal disruptions.

With our availability as a digital health solution for this FCC grant, our team will provide assistance and guidance for the application process. As we are not permitted to apply, our platform can directly address the call for innovation across all eligible parties. Our team will work hand-in-hand with your staff to complete essential steps and apply for FCC funding. With the application, the cliexa team can address the “low hanging fruit” for your team to implement an effective digital health solution to enable remote care and virtual health throughout the COVID pandemic, and onwards.

For More Information

For questions regarding how cliexa can support you in the application process and implementation of digital health solutions, please Contact Us through our form submission or email info@cliexa.com.

What are the updates in Version 2?

cliexa now supports Digital Check-in, Remote Intake, Discrete Data Delivery, Telehealth Plug-ins, and Remote Patient Monitoring on the athenahealth More Disruption Please Marketplace!

With the overwhelming demand for clinicians to remotely care for their patients amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, our clinical partners have shared some of the newfound challenges they encounter with at-risk patients. While patients with chronic conditions require treatment and monitoring, they are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms and complications. This has translated into a need for remote functionalities to treat and monitor chronic patients over the coming months, without requiring patients to come into the clinic.

After considering their input, the cliexa team prioritized a full-stack, virtual care experience for athenahealth customers. Over the past two months, our team has implemented new features that are now available on our athenahealth MDP Marketplace listing for remote registration, digital check-in, pre-screening, telehealth functionalities, and discrete data integration. This rollout not only addresses the current concerns with COVID but creates a customizable intake process to increase administrative and clinical efficiencies.

What does this mean?

Rather than patients traveling to their local healthcare setting, the entire registration process can now be completed remotely. Whether they are a new or follow-up patient, they will complete all registration information on a smartphone or tablet through our platform. The information provided by the patient discretely populates the appropriate fields and buckets in athenahealth for the medical staff, custom-tailored to the existing workflows. This process removes unnecessary encounters among at-risk patients and medical staff, thus resulting in a safer method to seek and receive medical care.

Check out our listing on the athenahealth MDP Marketplace and reach out to our team if you have any questions or would like to learn more!

Download The “Enabling Remote Care and Virtual Health” PDF


how is remote patient monitoring changing the game

Remote patient monitoring is a game changer during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many questions have been brought up regarding the status of our current healthcare system. How can I get in touch with my physician? How are healthcare clinics handling social distancing and quarantine? Are they still able to meet with me? Do I have any symptoms of Coronavirus? How do I know whether I need to go to a hospital for testing?

Over the last few weeks, our healthcare environment has turned upside down by the emergence of Coronavirus in the United States. Serving patients during this time presents new challenges and has established a “new normal” for clinical workflows.

What exactly is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)?

Imagine you are experiencing some symptoms that you’d like your clinician to know about. Maybe you have some preexisting healthcare conditions that make you concerned. Remote patient monitoring allows your clinician to monitor your symptoms and reach out with any changes you should make to your current treatment plan. Most RPM platforms are online or through a mobile application that allow for secure communication with your healthcare provider from the comfort of your home.

cliexa utilizes Remote Patient Monitoring to improve patient care. The platform provides clinically validated assessments with automated disease activity scores, allowing clinicians to tap into wearable devices for real-time data. These wearables provide actionable data that otherwise could go undetected through general patient reported outcomes. This way of closely monitoring patients can lead to an improved patient satisfaction with overall care.

How can Remote Patient Monitoring help during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Remote patient monitoring with cliexa is changing the game in healthcare. Recently, many digital health companies have been working towards telehealth solutions for clinics. With cliexa’s remote patient monitoring, patients do not need to be physically present to onboard. Instead, they can receive care and information from a clinician with a fully remote platform. cliexa addresses the needs of each clinic’s specific Coronavirus response. cliexa enables remote check-in, customized clinical intake, secure transfer of medical history records, and remote patient monitoring. All of these functionalities in the platform seamlessly integrate into the existing EMR system. These functions allow patients to conduct all necessary actions from home on their mobile phones prior to telehealth or in-person visits.

Providers can leverage these services, along with cliexa’s COVID-19 screening, to triage patients with chronic conditions based on their risk level. The cliexa COVID-19 screening capabilities follow the CDC’s guidelines to assess risk factors for patients, including preexisting medical conditions. cliexa allows clinicians to utilize virtual health functionalities including remote monitoring and telemedicine visits.

How does Remote Patient Monitoring differ from Telehealth?

Telehealth allows for physicians to meet with their patients virtually – through video or audio communications. However, telehealth requires that patients have previously gone through an onboarding process with their specific clinic or physician. Many telehealth services still require patients to visit their healthcare provider’s office in-person for onboarding. During this initial office visit, the patient fills out onboarding documentation including waivers and past medical history documents. After all patient information is entered into the clinic’s EMR, only then can the patient enroll in telehealth functionalities.

This is where cliexa’s remote patient monitoring platform differs. Our platform eliminates this step completely. Clinics fully digitize the onboarding process and customize it to their specific clinic needs with cliexa. With remote check-in and customized clinical intake features, patients can enroll with a clinic of their choice and start using telehealth services safely from home. This eliminates the need for an initial in-person visit with a healthcare provider, reducing COVID-19 exposure in hospitals and clinics.

How can I learn more?

During this chaotic time, it’s important to stay informed with what’s happening in our current healthcare system. Using remote patient monitoring in healthcare today is outlined in online articles released almost daily. Participate in webinars to learn more about what digital healthcare companies are doing to help – and review materials like this on your own.

cliexa is determined to do all we can to help healthcare providers overcome challenges and promote better care for patients. To support our healthcare partners through this pandemic, we are waiving all implementation fees until further notice. COVID-19 has distanced us, but with the right tools the show can and must go on.

For more information, check out our brief explainer video or schedule a demo of the cliexa platform with our team here.

Featured image for patient-reported outcomes and AI in Pain Management

Integrated pain management is a specialty that has grown in recent years. Patient-reported outcomes and AI in pain management can provide insights to improve treatment plans. During each visit to a clinician, patients complete assessments to inform their provider about their current conditions. Each of these assessments creates a profile for the patient about their current and ongoing symptoms. Each of these patient-reported outcomes is extremely useful in tracking the success of a treatment plan. Recently, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral factor in learning more about these outcomes. AI can be trained to learn how different factors in a patient’s treatment plan affect their outcomes.

With pain management, it is essential to assess each patient’s pain symptoms frequently. By digitally recording responses to patient assessments, these patient-reported outcomes can be tracked more efficiently. To provide more effective treatment plans, pain management providers are using patient-reported outcomes and AI more often.

How does AI in healthcare work?

AI starts with compiling lots of data. In pain management, each time a patient visits their physician, they fill out assessments about their current symptoms and pain levels since their last visit. The provider then takes the information, compiles it, and compares it to each patient’s recent medication and lifestyle changes. In addition to this, the patient may utilize physical therapy or behavioral health resources in their treatment plan. All of these factors come into play when a provider makes decisions about the patient’s ongoing treatment will be. What has worked for them in the past? Are they improving? What else can they try?

This is where AI comes into play. AI and machine learning can take all of these factors and learn what can be an effective treatment plan for each patient. By compiling this data, AI can infer from previous assessments what is more or less likely to work for that patient based on their historical data.

AI recognizes patterns in treatment plans as data becomes available. Using this information can make a well-defined course of action for the healthcare provider. By utilizing these patient-reported outcomes and AI in pain management settings, treatment plans become more successful in pain patients.

Why is Pain Management a focus for AI?

Many different healthcare specialties can use AI with patient-reported outcomes. However, pain management tends to include a myriad of external factors for each patient. Pain management can include patients with medication dependencies, behavioral health diagnoses, and chronic diseases. Because of these factors, it is difficult to accurately weigh each one as a patient treatment plan is formed.

Because the opioid epidemic is a continuing concern for healthcare providers, AI has come into play more heavily. Digital healthcare has become a key player in combating the opioid crisis with remote patient monitoring and risk assessments. Correct dosing for opioid prescriptions is a fine line between addiction and chronic pain in patients. This is why AI has become prevalent in managing opioid use in hospital settings in recent years.

It’s also important to note that pain management is a very iterative an ongoing treatment process, and can differ greatly between patients. For this reason, collecting patient-reported outcomes to derive treatment options has proven to be successful in recent years.

How can I get started using AI in my practice?

cliexa’s pain management platform (cliexa-Ease) incorporates patient assessments and utilizes them to create a comprehensive risk score for each patient. The Symptom Severity Score (FIBR), Dallas Pain Questionnaire (DPS), Medical Outcomes Survey (MOS Core, SF-36), and Pain Disability Index (PDI) are all incorporated into the platform.

As a provider, you can create a risk matrix based on your treatment preferences and utilize this digital tool to streamline patient assessments and risk. Determining risk of a patient is the cornerstone to their treatment plan. Risk assessments assist the healthcare provider to make decisions based on many different factors that can affect a patient’s overall risk. Also, by tracking medication adherence and compliance with each patient will allow providers to better track their symptoms over time. All of these features are included in the cliexa-Ease platform and can help you to better track patient outcomes using remote monitoring and integrated risk assessments.

Learn more about cliexa’s digital platforms.

 

tracking the spread of COVID-19

The news of Coronavirus skyrocketing in China peaked during the month of January. At this time, the virus seemed so far away from our reality. Quickly, the virus has spread across the world. The testing for COVID-19 has become more advanced by the week and every day we see hundreds if not thousands more confirmed cases. Track the spread of COVID-19 here.

What can we do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

As a healthy young individual, the most effective thing you can do is stay home and prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus. Each citizen plays a large role in spreading the virus to others. The American population who are elderly or immunocompromised are at a higher risk for developing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Because of this, ALL citizens are at risk of spreading the virus and should take the quarantine seriously.

The CDC’s guidelines for how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are conservative at this point. Wash your hands frequently and stay away from densely populated areas. This includes restaurants, bars, and stores. To bolster the prevention of the virus, counties in the San Francisco Bay area have placed a “shelter in place” order. Preventative measures like this will likely spread to other large cities in the coming days.

An important resource to note is the CDC’s guidelines for assessing risk in citizens that have potential exposure to the virus. Be sure to know the signs and symptoms of the virus and utilize any local drive-thru testing centers. Many hospitals are allowing at-risk citizens to call their hotline for remote screening of COVID-19. It’s important for citizens to stay up-to-date on recent news and be prepared to stay home in the coming weeks. As the spread of COVID-19 continues to ramp up in the US, it will be important that everyone does their part.

Work from home, avoid crowded areas, and prepare to stay home for at least the next three weeks. Preventing this virus starts with each individual making a choice to change their lifestyle for the better of their communities. The reason that China was able to reduce the spreading of COVID-19 is because they were willing to effectively quarantine.

How can we track the spread of COVID-19 more effectively?

Testing in the United States is slowly climbing. But, because of limited testing kits across the country, hospitals are being sure to utilize tests on only higher-risk citizens. As of now, people who have not been in direct contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus are considered low-risk. However, citizens living in densely populated areas with high contact should assume that they have been exposed to the virus. Even if they are not tested, low-risk citizens should take all the same precautions as high-risk individuals to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

Digital healthcare technologies have been integral in tracking COVID-19. Here is how some tech companies are helping to control the spread of the virus. cliexa has incorporated the CDC’s risk assessment guidelines into a platform that can compile data and assess the risk of each patient that is worried about their exposure. This platform provides patient-reported data on risk and symptoms to physicians. This helps healthcare professionals better manage the amount of exposure cases across the nation. We are offering free demos of this platform. You can visit our contact page to schedule a time with our team to learn about the COVID-19 screening application offered through the cliexa platform.