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By Gabrielle Huff
By Alyssa Plotts, UT:10 News Reporter
TOLEDO, Ohio - The COVID-19 pandemic has brought drastic challenges to medical and psychiatric care. The answer for many providers has been telehealth visits with patients. The locally-based nonprofit Harbor has increased its telemedicine services by 500% since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Lighthouse Telehealth.
According to a study conducted by the Commonwealth fund, in-person medical visits plummeted to 60 percent below average during May and June. Provider visits are still 10 percent below the normal average.
Sandy Hall, president of Lighthouse Telehealth said to treat patients safely and provide the best care under COVID restrictions, Harbor has ramped up their telehealth consults with the help of their subsidiary Lighthouse Telehealth. Telehealth appointments were offered by Harbor before the pandemic, so the nonprofit was familiar with the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an expansion of these visits.
“Patients would visit Tele Patient Rooms where they were examined by a medical aid before meeting with providers on a video call,” Hall said.These rooms contained computers and cameras for patients to speak with their provider, who may have been at a different office location or in another state.
Hall adds this provided a private setting to utilize telehealth for those who may not feel comfortable talking to a provider in their own home. Harbor was also offered a federal grant of over $300,000 this year to expand its telehealth program.
For those who utilize the telehealth program from home, technology has made the process even easier for medical staff and patients. Depending on the patient’s insurance coverage, phone or video call appointments can be offered.
This allows the clinician to visibly see any physical signs that there may be something wrong with the patient. They can then decide if emergency help needs to be contacted for the patient. Telehealth visits have also cut down the wait time for patients seeking care because providers can meet with many patients online or on the phone.
Telemedicine does come with challenges, including issues with patient internet or phone connections, as well as patients not being comfortable speaking about their concerns in their home around family or their spouses. According to Hall, insurance coverage can also become an issue.
Some companies have restrictions on telehealth coverage such as:
Despite these challenges that arise, Harbor and Lighthouse Telehealth plan to utilize telehealth visits even after the COVID-19 pandemic. “The successful transition to these visits has encouraged the expansion of these programs," Hall said.
By Mark Schindler, UT:10 News Reporter
TOLEDO, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference finalized and released the schedule yesterday providing clarity for the Rockets season. Game times will be issued at a later date along with TV details.
The University of Toledo opens at home on November fourth against Bowling Green State University in their annual rivalry game. The Rockets will then go on a two-game road trip in Michigan.
They will play Western Michigan University on Nov. 11 and Eastern Michigan University on Nov. 18. They will return home for a one game homestand against Ball State University on Nov. 28 before heading back on the road to play Northern Illinois University on Dec. 5.
The Rockets’ final regular season game will be played at home against Central Michigan University on Dec. 12. The Chippewas broke UT’s 9-game series win streak 49-7 in Mount Pleasant last season.
Central Michigan represented the MAC West Division in the MAC Championship last season. A successful season likely rides on this final regular season game.
The players started fall camp on September 25 and were allowed to practice in full pads shortly after. They’re anxious to compete again.
“I couldn’t even tell you how excited I am…whenever that time comes I’m ready to roll, Bryce Harris, UT Senior Captain said. “I just wanna go out there and experience the experience with my friends, with my teammates, with my guys, with my coaches.”
Harris missed the entirety of last season with a knee injury and was granted a sixth year of eligibility. He bolsters an offensive line that paved the way for the second best rushing offense in the MAC last season. However, the Rockets look to improve upon last year’s defense which ranked in the bottom ten nationally in yards allowed per ESPN.com.
The MAC Championship game will take place on December 18 at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.
Morgan Cronenwett, UT:10 News Reporter
Alyssa Plotts, UT:10 News Reporter
Sunday, September 27, 2020
The folk band Oliver Hazard took the stage Thursday night for the first concert ever held on Fifth Third Field. Fans were asked to wear masks, social distance and sit on the field in their assigned concert pod. Fans could also choose a socially distanced seat in the stands. The show was sold out and around 700 fans were in attendance. There have not yet been any more shows scheduled on Fifth Third Field, but many fans expressed interest in more concerts being held in the future.
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