CrossOver Healthcare Ministry expands telehealth, COVID-19 testing amid pandemic
|CrossOver Healthcare Ministry has been partnering with the Center for Pharmacy Practice Innovation for more than three years, and through this partnership, John Bucheit and other CPPI faculty have made progress on several CPPI initiatives.
One such project, funded by one of CPPI’s Feasibility Grants, looks at the effectiveness of implementing an antibiotic stewardship program at the clinic in patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). Although delayed by the coronavirus, Bucheit is hoping to wrap up the manuscript for the initial findings in the next few weeks.
Before the onset of COVID-19, Bucheit and members of other free clinics in the Richmond area were working diligently to expand billing for pharmacist services. Since the pandemic began and caused the clinic to switch to primarily telehealth visits, the need to expand billing practices is even more evident.
“As all primary care providers switch to telehealth, little differences exist in coordination of care by primary care clinicians,” Bucheit said. “However, large discrepancies in pharmacist reimbursement by insurance agencies compared to other clinicians continues.”
Prior to the pandemic, they were planning to lobby Medicaid/Medicare organizations for expanded billing, and Bucheit hopes to resume that initiative soon.
A clinic initiative brought on by COVID-19 is free testing for the virus. CrossOver has been offering free testing since mid-June to those who otherwise may not have had access. In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, the clinic has been able to test a large population of uninsured children and adults.
“Our testing events allow us to broaden and deepen our response to this disparity and the need of the Latinx community in our area,” members of the clinic said in a June article about testing. “At these in-person events, in addition to testing, we can provide education on COVID-19 prevention and mitigation, helping to decrease virus spread.”
CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, launched in November of 1983, has a mission of providing high quality health care to those in need, often uninsured or medically underserved populations. Since transient beginnings, CrossOver has found a permanent home for its first clinic on Cowardin Avenue and opened another clinic in Henrico, together serving more than 6,600 unique patients each year.