Tampa Bay Coronavirus Medical News Updates

Baycare Drive-Through Tampa Bay Coronavirus Testing Sites

Baycare rolled out COVID-19 drive-through testing sites at at seven Urgent Care locations. Patients who have been previously screened by their provider will be able to use this service. Read more here about COVID-19 testing sites.

Tampa Bay Coronavirus Nurse Triage Line

BayCare offers a COVID-19 nurse triage phone hotline (1-800-BAYCARE), available from 6 a.m. to midnight for questions around screening, testing and where to go if one has been exposed, is high risk or symptomatic. Patients may call this number and press “1” to speak with a nurse about coronavirus concerns. The volumes are very high, so please be patient.

CMS Expands Telehealth Use

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, CMS issued guidance on the expanded use of telehealth. Congress waived Medicare’s usually restrictive geographic and site limitations on telehealth coverage and reimbursement during public health emergencies. This will temporarily grant all Medicare providers access to telehealth, including in patients’ homes. This does not just include telehealth for treatment of coronavirus, but more generally to support social distancing measures. You can read more in our article about some of CMS’s changes to Medicare rules in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

EasyLiving maintains a list of telehealth resources. We can also help you talk to your provider to see what they can offer and to advocate for your needs given the changing rules and regulations. Our team can also help set you or your loved one up with technology and access to different resources in the home. Contact us anytime at 727-447-5845 or 813-333-5020.

Coronavirus Suspected or Confirmed in 19 Florida Long-Term Care Facilities

State officials announced that coronavirus has been confirmed or is suspected within 19 long-term care facilities, potentially exposing hundreds of the state’s most vulnerable to the virus. Officials are not releasing details of the facilities but says they are sending teams to work with any facility that raises concerns about the virus. The state is now requiring every person working in a facility that houses older or more vulnerable populations to wear masks. Read more here

If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, check out our post on what you can do and download our free checklist of questions to ask.

Cancelation of Elective Procedures

Medical providers are being advised to cancel elective procedures due to the coronavirus emergency. Baycare made the decision to cancel elective procedures effective Friday, March 20th. Their cancelation applies to elective surgeries, screening colonoscopies, cath lab procedures, interventional radiology studies and sleep lab studies. They are working with medical staff leadership to develop a process to review cases that need to be scheduled after March 19th to assess risks.

Medical providers are working tirelessly in the efforts to help with the coronavirus pandemic. Policies and procedures are changing regularly to ensure patient safety and respond to the community’s needs. 

As always, we will keep you updated on what we are doing, ways we can help, and important news in our area. You can follow the blog by simply signing up with your email address in the right-hand column. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook, where we post updates. 

Need help with medical advocacy or care at home? Contact us for a free phone consultation. Caregiver working from home and trying to balance caring for an elder loved one? We can help with respite care services.