As the Medicare Class of 2020 prepares for the Medicare open enrollment season, we are faced with a new and unexpected challenge. Due to the current situation with COVID-19 and the recommendation from health officials, our class will be unable to host our conventional in-person health fairs as normal this year. So, we were left with the question: How do we provide outreach services to our beneficiaries without meeting in person? Our answer: Telehealth. So that we can best meet the needs of those we serve, we will take a few directed steps. First, we will create a survey to gauge beneficiary’s access to, and comfort with, technology. The survey will be sent to beneficiaries we have previously served. We will then use this information to better structure the delivery of our services during our 10 scheduled virtual Medicare Health Fairs this Fall.
While this new set up certainly comes with its own set of challenges, there are also many advantages to telehealth interventions. For instance, having this capability will allow the Mobile Medicare Clinics to serve individuals in a wider geographic area (and even patients in other states if necessary) without taxing the team with travel. In addition, this virtual environment will save patients time, gas, and ideally stress as this method could be more convenient, especially for older adults who may have difficulty leaving home. This will also allow for family members to be present if desired, no matter their distance from the beneficiary. The same also applies to pharmacists.
The opportunities our telehealth ventures have for our Mobile Medicare Clinics is both exciting and daunting but we are confident that our Medicare family will successfully adapt and find ways to continue to make an positive impact on the community we serve.
We look forward to this new chapter for the Mobile Medicare Clinics outreach program at UOP and all the new experiences it will bring!