COVID-19 Daily Update 3/17
On Tuesday, healthcare providers across the country received good news from the Federal government.
For some time, AccentCare and others in our industry have appealed to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to expand the acceptable uses of telemedicine in skilled home health care, and of course, reimburse for those services fairly. Today, during the daily White House briefing, President Trump announced that CMS will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries for a very wide range of services that otherwise required an in-person visit.
The new policy is only a few hours old, and its it unclear if our services are under the waiver. AccentCare is already moving swiftly to increase our telemedicine capabilities, with or without the guarantee of reimbursement, because it is the right thing to do. Telemedicine will not be the best solution for all patients, but for some, it is the right solution during a pandemic.
Home Healthcare News (HHCN) interviewed Sara Castillo and me last week, just as we were all ramping up our coronavirus response. That article ran yesterday, and if you would like to read it, you can follow this link.
HHCN came to us to do the article because they observed that AccentCare was a pacesetter in our COVID-19 response, and HCCN wanted to hear our story. We also took the chance to appeal publicly for changes in policies to help us deliver ongoing, excellent care to our patients. Expanded use of telemedicine was one of the topics discussed.
I met with our Leadership team at noon today, and the message I want you to hear from me is that we are well on our way to standing up a new way of organizing our business that will carry us through the COVID-19 challenge.
The last thing I will leave you with tonight is to encourage you to remain vigilant with your own preventative measures. In the HCCN interview, I emphasized how important a healthy AccentCare team is. I said: “ We have a responsibility to the patients, so making sure that our workforce is taking all of the protective measures to stay as healthy as possible is important.” Stay well. Stay encouraged. We will make a difference together.
IT Update: Increasing VPN Capacity
AccentCare IT has been working hard to increase the capacity of our VPN systems to support the company’s employees that are working somewhere other than their office over the next few weeks. To facilitate the expected increase in demand, we have made some system changes to improve your WFH experience.
Starting Wednesday, when you connect to the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (VPN), you will automatically receive an upgraded client along with a few notifications, some requiring action on your part. The number of notifications you receive will vary depending on the age of your computer and version of VPN client installed. Because of this, we are including all of the possible notifications you may receive in the instructions below, and noting where not to worry if you don’t get presented with one of the notifications below.
Launch your Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (VPN).
Starting tomorrow, the first time you connect to the VPN, it will download an upgraded client (see Notification A below). This may take up to 5 minutes to complete.
Note: After this has been completed, you will not see the upgrade notification again.
Once the VPN client has been upgraded, you may be presented with the following message (see Notification B below). This may take a few minutes to complete. Note: If you are not presented with this notification, do not worry, simply skip to Step 3.
After the install is finished you will be presented with the following message (see Notification C below). Select “Yes”, reboot.
Note: The reboot process will take a couple of minutes.
Launch your Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (VPN), and connect like you usually do. This process will be a little slower (~45 – ~60 seconds) so do not be alarmed, let it finish before proceeding forward. The software will perform a quick security check on your computer then prompt you with a Security Policy notification (see Notification D below) similar to this:
Click “OK”. You are now connected to the VPN and can work as normal.
Note: You will see the “Security Policy Notification” message (Notification D) every time you connect to the VPN. As explained above, logging into the VPN going forward will be a little slower than normal. Don’t be alarmed, and give the VPN client ~45-60 seconds to complete its execution after you enter your login credentials.
*** IMPORTANT GUIDELINES***
Please do not visit social media sites or engage in non-work related internet usage while connected to the company VPN as we want to make sure and provide the best experience for everyone during this time of increased VPN usage.
Sharing Answers to Common Training Questions
The number one Service Desk ticket for those having trouble completing COVID19 courses is forgotten passwords. You can reset your own password by clicking the “Forgot Password” link below the sign in field. (see attached flyer) This way you don’t have to wait for the Service Desk to respond and you can get your training done quicker!
For tablet users who are not able to pull up the ACE log in page: If you are trying to open ACE but you get redirected away from the Login page and are unable to sign in, please try the following options so you can access your training by logging into your account. You can click on the “Bookmarks” app from your homepage and select the “AccentCare Education” link. This should bring you to your sign in page. If the Bookmark app is not available, you can copy and paste the ACE link into the address bar in Chrome. (See Below)
DOWNLOAD: LMS INSTRUCTIONS
For employees who are experiencing a blank grey screen when launching the recently released COVID-19 and Phishing Training courses: The issue reported most is a blank grey screen when executing the training course using Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you encounter this problem, please launch the training courses using Google Chrome. After testing, we’ve found no issues launching and complete training while using the Chrome browser.
As a reminder, you can access AccentCare Education, or ACE, by clicking on this link. Listed below are additional links to help you successfully launch and complete your training.