COA introduces EyecareLive as its preferred partner for telehealth services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Contact: Kristine Shultz, 916.752.1671, firstname.lastname@example.org
The California Optometric Association introduces EyecareLive as its preferred partner for telehealth services.
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Optometric Association (COA) has launched a new member benefit for doctors of optometry in California. Naming EyecareLive its preferred partner for telehealth services, COA members now have access to provide telehealth services via the EyecareLive platform at absolutely no cost for the first month, with significantly reduced fees for ongoing use.
This new partnership aims to equip COA members with the most robust telehealth platform available. “EyecareLive is one of the most comprehensive telemedicine solutions for optometry” says Raj Ramchandani, EyecareLive CEO, “besides secure video calling, the platform includes optometry-specific patient services, including visual acuity and dry eye tests, a contact lens comfort quiz and Amsler grid for patients to perform at home. EyecareLive puts emphasis on billing, compliance and data privacy.”
The Trump Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced unprecedented steps to expand Americans' access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded Medicare coverage for telehealth visits, including a new rule allowing patients to receive care at home, as well as remote patient monitoring for both chronic and acute conditions.
According to The Vision Council, there has been a marked increase in incorporation of telemedicine since the COVID-19 crisis started – from 2% this February to 24% of ECPs now using telehealth. Their research also shows that 31% of ECPs are planning to incorporate telehealth services soon.
Jason Tu, OD, COA’s president, had this to say about the announcement, “The ability to launch this new member benefit now – offering the EyecareLive platform to our members at the most attractive pricing available to optometrists anywhere – shows the responsiveness of COA to serve and support its member-doctors. Using EyecareLive for telehealth services will allow our members to get back to providing the highest level of care sooner – and more safely – which is what all doctors of optometry in California want.”
While telehealth cannot replace all elements of an in-person, comprehensive eye exam, it can serve as a critical tool for doctors of optometry, as they work to identify patients necessitating in-person care and those who can be provided direction remotely as the COVID-19 public health crisis continues. EyecareLive’s top priority is helping optometry practices provide safe patient care during this unprecedented time.
“The landscape is rapidly changing,” Tu added, “both patients and doctors are showing that they are more comfortable with telehealth and EyecareLive is the only platform specifically built for optometry.”
As a result of COA's advocacy, California was able to get early enactment of a law passed last year to mandate telehealth payment parity. This means health plans must pay for telehealth services at same rate as in person services. COA also got an interpretation on the record so that this new law cannot be used to mandate payment for online vision testing. Removing barriers to legitimate telehealth services, while maintaining the same standard of care, will improve access and help ensure that hospitals and health systems can focus on providing care to those who need it most. EyecareLive complies with all aspects of the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) guidelines for responsible telemedicine.
# # #
Established in 1899, the California Optometric Association is California's oldest organized community for doctors of optometry. Representing nearly 3,000 doctors of optometry throughout the state, COA is dedicated to support and advance the profession of optometry to assure quality health care for all Californians. Learn more at coavision.org, facebook.com/California Optometric and instagram.com/COA_vision.