Physicians appeal to governor for new policies to fight COVID-19
‘All-hands-on-deck’ approach calls for telemedicine, testing and talent
The Indiana State Medical Association is urging Gov. Eric Holcomb to direct several changes in policy that Hoosier physicians say will prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.
The recommendations focus on telemedicine, testing and health care talent, and were sent on Wednesday in a letter to Gov. Holcomb
based on input from physicians working on the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. ISMA is the largest physician organization in the state with 8,500 members.
“Thanks to Gov. Holcomb and his administration, Indiana’s response to this public health crisis has been swift and effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19. But there is much more work to be done,” said Lisa Hatcher, MD, president of ISMA. “Our doctors, who are on the front lines of this pandemic, have firsthand knowledge on how to flatten the curve, and urge the governor to consider these additional steps that must be taken.”
Physicians are requesting the State of Indiana provide for:
- Greater flexibility in the use of telemedicine so patients can check in with their physician from home instead of risking exposure to COVID-19 through a trip to their physician’s office.
- Ability to prescribe controlled substances through telemedicine without a prior in-person visit to minimize the exposure risk of in-person visits.
- All telemedicine visits to be reimbursed at the same level as an in-person visit.
- Available COVID-19 testing to be quickly processed and paid for by all payers, public and private.
- Allow physicians who are licensed in another state but not licensed in Indiana to legally work in the state on a temporary basis and reduce barriers to part-time physicians increasing their hours and filling shortages.
- Create incentives for health care workers to have childcare assistance so they can be available to help meet the increased health care demand.
“This crisis calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach to successfully fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Julie Reed, JD, executive vice president of ISMA. “We are confident Hoosier physicians will be better equipped to prevent and respond to the virus if our state and federal officials continue to implement flexible solutions like these.”