Since the start of the pandemic, the CF care center network has seen a five-fold increase in virtual care visits, allowing most people with CF to maintain vital connections to their care teams without the risk of contracting COVID-19. To support this shift and the CF community's continued access to high quality, specialized care during COVID-19 and beyond, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has arranged to provide more than 10,000 home spirometers to patients and families across the country.
The program reflects the Foundation's heightened focus on expanding access to and normalizing telehealth. Currently, the Foundation is advocating for telehealth policies that:
- Support access to high-quality, specialized care across a range of delivery mechanisms
- Adequately reimburse clinicians for valuable services that are delivered in a virtual setting
- Move toward a more sustainable, equitable nationwide model for telehealth
The expansion of telehealth can extend routine, preventative care for people with CF who may otherwise delay or forego their recommended quarterly care visits -- potentially preventing or delaying disease progression, improving outcomes, and impacting the long-term sustainability of the CF care model.
Dr. Mike Boyle, President and CEO of the Foundation detailed the benefits of continued virtual care for people with chronic conditions in a recent op-ed. He argues that there should be no rolling back the telehealth flexibilities afforded to Americans during the pandemic, and that decision-makers need to act now to build the telehealth model of the future.
As the Foundation continues advocating for expanded telehealth policies, we also plan to extend the availability of home spirometers through care centers as more supply becomes available. Consult your care team for more information.