The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has helped to create new opportunities for telehealth practices in apheresis medicine. This session will offer an overview of telemedicine in apheresis ("telapheresis"), including descriptions of single-center, mobile, and telapheresis models, the benefits and risks of telapheresis, virtual expert apheresis consultation, telapheresis physician privileging, and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant electronic communication. Discussion of telapheresis medical-legal and ethical concerns, and guidance regarding coding and reimbursement strategies will be addressed. The session will briefly review physician peer-to-peer virtual consultation, virtual apheresis order templates, video telephony platforms, how to handle apheresis complications via telapheresis, and operational and logistical considerations regarding implementation of telapheresis programs. The American Society For Apheresis (ASFA) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) should continue to take the lead in this emerging field and develop standards & guidelines for "best practices" in telapheresis.
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Define the essentials of telemedicine in apheresis ("telapheresis"), compare three therapeutic apheresis (TA) delivery models, summarize the pros and cons of telapheresis, and provide guidance on where telapheresis can (and should not) be utilized.
Describe pre-pandemic Blood Centers' experiences with telehealth practices, and operational considerations regarding implementation of telapheresis programs.
Evaluate the appropriate utilization of physician-to-physician virtual consultation, and coding and reimbursement strategies for telapheresis consultation and remote TA procedure supervision.
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AM21-51: Telapheresis (Telemedicine in Apheresis) in the Era of the Sars-Cov-2 Pandemic: Will This Become a New Normal? Evaluation