LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i nurse practitioner Marghee Maupin is offering COVID-19 screenings to patients with or without insurance, and is conducting virutal exams via online video platforms to consult with her patients.
An established nurse and owner of Marghee’s Mobile Medical LLC., Maupin has asthma and switched from house calls to patient care via telehealth as the virus started spreading to Hawai‘i in order to preserve her own heath. Soon, she saw she could incorporate COVID-19 screenings into her practice as a way to help her island community.
“Just seeing the limitations in people being able to get tested, I thought that was wrong,” Maupin said. “Working with insurance has been difficult to work around because of some of their regulations. Because I am independent, I can take care of patients without a bunch of rules.”
Maupin says by waiving the co-pay for the insured and offering her services free for those who don’t have health-care providers, her business is losing profits.
“I am sure I’ve (lost money), but that isn’t the most important thing to me right now,” Maupin said.
Currently, Maupin is averaging five to seven patients a day.
“I’m 60 (years old), and I like a more relaxed schedule,” Maupin said. “I make significantly less than I did when I worked at the clinic, but it was too fast-paced, leaving me to question the quality or lack of quality of care I was offering. I also wanted more decision-making ability in the care I offer. Having no boss makes this possible.”
Maupin is also doing COVID-19 assessment screenings for patients who are symptomatic of the virus. Maupin can write a referral to the doctor for someone exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus.
By conducting her regular standard practice, Maupin has only referred one patient exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. She has been in the medical field as a nurse practitioner for 35 years, and said the coronavirus is unprecedented territory for medical professionals.
Maupin compared this crisis to the Spanish flu, which eventually killed 50 million people worldwide in 1918.
“When looking at a chest X-ray of someone (infected with COVID-19), it looks like ground-up glass,” Maupin said. “Their lung tissue just deteriorates. I have never seen anything like this.”
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 include high fever and difficulty breathing, which may turn into wheezing in the lungs, according to Maupin.
“Almost anything starts with flu-like symptoms,” Maupin said. “Generally (with COVID-19), you will be getting a high fever, and your breathing in and out is also painful.”
For a full and official list of COVID-19 symptoms, visit the websites of Centers for Disease Control and the Hawaii Department of Health; both also have information on social distancing and steps to take if you think you have the virus.
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.