Home Care Industry to Play Vital Role in Combating Coronavirus (COVID-19)
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in the US, the home care industry is positioned to play a vital role in combating it. At Friday’s press conference, President Donald Trump announced the partnership of several industry leaders who are working to vastly increase and accelerate the capacity to test for the coronavirus. The home care industry was front and center along with the retail, pharmacy and diagnostic industries.
In addition, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has submitted a letter to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urging regulatory changes that would free up home care providers to improve their ability to care for their patients. According to Home Health Care News, some of the requests from NAHC include:
- Expedited access to and financial support for protective gear for home-based care workers.
- Priority testing of suspected at-home, isolated patients and their caregivers to avoid further spread of COVID-19
- Expedited transition of patients from skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other in-patient settings
- Expansion of the existing “homebound” requirement, allowing providers to treat individuals with suspected COVID-19 infection or those who are at elevated risk
- Reduction of Medicare’s strict face-to-face physician encounter requirements for both home health and hospice providers, allowing them to instead use telephonic and telehealth-based encounters.
We will continue to monitor changes and assistance from CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other agencies to ensure the safety of our employees, patients and their families.
John C. Wilson, Jr.