SAMHSA reports its national Disaster Distress Helpline saw a nearly 900% year-over-year increase in calls last month, prompting mental health experts at the federal level to issue warnings of a coming mental health crisis.
Health officials fear that the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money earmarked in the CARES Act for the expansion of mental health services at the federal, state, and local levels may not be enough to provide services for those who’ll need them.
Across the pond, the British government is offering grants to tech companies that can quickly develop digital mental health tools to help citizens who are struggling with the government’s mandated 12 weeks of isolation.
April 15 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Scaling front-line COVID-19 response: virtual education, screening, triage, and patient navigation.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Lawrence “Rusty” Hofman, MD, medical director of digital health, Stanford Health Care; Kristi Ebong, MPH, MBA, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. The presenters will describe how chatbots can be quickly deployed to streamline individual navigation to the appropriate resources, administer automated virtual health checks for monitoring and managing specific populations, increase access to screening and triage for high-risk populations across multiple channels (web, voice, SMS, and analog phone), and reach individuals in multiple languages.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
As headlines continue to highlight the business struggles smaller practices are facing in light of COVID-19, advocacy organization Practicing Physicians of American launches Health in My Community, an online resource that hopes to connect patients in need of care with physicians in their communities who now offer telemedicine. A related GoFundMe campaign has been established to help patients access care from those physicians.
Online substance abuse counseling company Lionrock raises $7 million. It has seen attendance in its free support groups, including one dedicated to COVID-19-related anxiety, triple over the last several weeks.
Just a month after announcing a $9 million Series A funding round, Los Angeles-based medical billing software vendor Anagram lays off 17 employees.
Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians begins offering virtual visits using Updox technology.
Announcements and Implementations
Nonprofit MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley (TX) will implement Smart Care EHR software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.
EHNAC offers healthcare business associates a Privacy and Security Toolkit that includes a set of HIPAA/HITECH policies, procedures, forms, best practices, compliance tools, and consulting assistance.
Government and Politics
HHS will distribute $1.3 billion to HRSA-funded health centers across the country to help them treat COVID-19 patients, and maintain or increase capacity and staffing levels.
The AMA offers practices recommendations on offering non-essential care during the pandemic.
TruckPark adds access to telemedicine services from GenieMD to its app for long-haul truck drivers.
Optometrist Mark Veth takes to tickling the ivories via Facebook Live while his practice, Be Spectacled in Wauwatosa, WI, is closed during the pandemic. Veth, who has has been playing since the age of four, hopes to soon get back to playing for the nursing home residents he typically performs for on a weekly basis.
- Baxter Regional (AR) expands its use of EClinicalWorks technology to include virtual visit capabilities.
- Healthwise launches a Coronavirus Resource Center.
- How are you coping? We love success stories. (AdvancedMD)
More news: HIStalk.