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Telemedicine Solution for Medication Monitoring in the Treatment Of Chronic Pain Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic

Long Island, N.Y., April 20, 2020 — Cordant Health Solutions® (Cordant) offers a video-observed oral fluid medication testing solution ideal for chronic pain providers to help continue to monitor medication compliance with their patients during the new era of social distancing and telemedicine visits.

“Many chronic pain patients are at higher risk of COVID-19 because some may have compromised immune systems due to illness or immune-suppressive medications used to treat their conditions,” said Brian Durkin, DO, president of the New York Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and medical director at Pain Institute of Long Island. “Maintaining treatment protocols that keep patients safe while also limiting their exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus is a complicated situation for both providers and patients.”

While it would appear that telemedicine is an ideal solution for patients with chronic pain, many of whom also experience mobility issues due to their injuries or conditions, or are older and rely on others for transportation, federal regulations have traditionally presented a barrier to providers wishing to offer care by video consultation.

“I believe the primary reason telemedicine hasn’t been widely adopted before this point was due to regulatory restrictions as well as non-reimbursement for the service,” said Durkin. “Where we used to see 50 to 60 patients in the office each day, we are now down to only two or three who we are not able to treat via telemedicine.”

In response to the current public health crisis, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently broadened access to Medicare telehealth services allowing patients to access telemedicine and ensuring reimbursement to providers for those visits.

Maintaining medication monitoring protocols, which is usually accomplished through drug testing done in-office or at a collection facility, is critical to care for many chronic pain patients.

“We found that telemedicine was working well for our patients and staff, but we still had one piece of the puzzle missing,” said Durkin. “How were we going to be able to continue to use drug testing to monitor our patients for compliance? We found out about Cordant’s video-observed oral fluid collection process and it fit perfectly with what we wanted to accomplish.

Cordant’s video collection process has been available for over two years and was developed for the home healthcare market but fits well with the growth of telemedicine due to the pandemic.

“I think that we are going to rely more on telemedicine in the future,” Durkin said. “Social distancing is not going away anytime soon, especially in one of the hardest-hit areas like New York, so healthcare professionals will need to find ways to care for patients.”

Providers interested in learning how to add Cordant’s solution to help protect patients during the COVID-19 epidemic can contact Cordant at sales@cordanths.com or 844-848-5955.

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