State directs healthcare providers to postpone in-person visits, transition to telehealth

On March 21 the Louisiana Department of Health directed health care providers to transition all of their visits to telehealth, “when medically appropriate and when the same standard of care can be met as an in-person visit.”

As part of the steps it is taking to ensure public health in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the state advised providers to make decisions about the appropriateness of telehealth options on a case-by-case basis, noting that there are still legitimate and valid barriers to delivery.

The state also is requiring a 30-day postponement for in-person visits that can be safely rescheduled. “Providers shall consider the entire clinical picture when determining if a service can be safely postponed, including the consequences to the patient of postponement and the consequences to the healthcare system.”

Providers acting in good faith would not be in violation of either of the directives.

Read more about Lafayette’s transition to teletherapy for mental health services here.

About the Author

A founding editor of both The Independent and ABiz and senior editor at The Times of Acadiana in the 1990s, Leslie Turk has worked in the newspaper business in Lafayette for almost three decades. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times and The Acadiana Advocate. Email her at leslie@thecurrentla.com.

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