The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported on February 1, 2020, with the number of cases increasing rapidly on March 5. Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10. By March 12, more than a hundred people had tested positive for the virus. Massachusetts experienced a first wave of COVID-19 that peaked in late April 2020, with almost 4,000 people hospitalized with the disease.
A second wave began in the autumn of 2020 and peaked in January 2021, with a smaller third spike of increased cases and hospitalizations in March and April 2021. A fourth wave began in July and August 2021, with another wave occurring in early winter of 2021.
In January 2022, the state reported that there had been 1,411,613 total reported COVID-19 cases and 20,872 reported deaths among cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts since the beginning of the pandemic. As of January 7, 2022, 91.6% of people in Massachusetts had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 75.0% were fully vaccinated.
To be able to respond confidently to the changing needs of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts doctors are encouraged to have a comprehensive policy in place from a top-rated medical malpractice insurance carrier.
Through the passage of “An Act Promoting a Resilient Health Care System that Puts Patients First”, Massachusetts has signaled that they will continue to support the expansion of telehealth services beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. This Act expands upon the emergency orders to require that insurers provide coverage for health care services that are delivered via telehealth, provided the services would have been covered if they were performed in-person and the services are an appropriate use of telehealth, plus more.
Research into telehealth indicates that patients are largely satisfied with the ease and quality of care, and the adoption of telemedicine services is only expected to grow. Since physicians are held to the same standard of care regardless of whether they are practicing via telehealth or in-person visits, it is recommended that doctors carry insurance that specifically covers telemedicine. If you are unsure, consult with your insurance broker.