HomeCare magazine knows that the coronavirus outbreak will impact almost every aspect of how homecare businesses operate. This page is a way to stay abreast of the latest developments surrounding the virus as it affects home health agencies, home medical equipment providers and the aging in place community. We’ll post news updates, industry developments, evolving risks and online resources as we become aware of them, so check in regularly for up-to-date information.

LAS VEGAS (May 27, 2020)—The National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association have decided to hold the Financial Management Conference (FMC) as a virtual meeting in July 2020. While the association was looking forward to seeing members in person in Las Vegas, the safety of guests is the paramount concern, so the conference has been moved online.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 27, 2020)—AAHomecare is currently working on comments for the Interim Final Rule (IFR), Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 public health emergency that was published on April 6, 2020. This IFR provided relief on coverage for respiratory products and allows non-physician healthcare professionals to prescribe DME under Medicaid.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2020)—The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish permanent flexibilities allowing hospices to utilize telecommunications to deliver multi-disciplinary, patient-centered care, and to ensure that such services can be recorded and monitored for their impact on quality of care.

(May 19, 2020)—In the U.S., there are some 130,000 medical residents — doctors in their final years of training after medical school — who make up a vital part of the workforce.

Now a global pandemic has become the centerpiece of their training.

Many are pulling long hours in emergency departments and intensive care units treating patients infected with the coronavirus, all while witnessing the health care system under unprecedented stress.

TYLER, Texas (May 19, 2020)—The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed several shortcomings in the United States health care system along with new opportunities. The question remains, what have we learned about the healthcare system's capabilities or lack thereof during the coronavirus crisis and how might those lessons be applied in a post-COVID-19 world, whenever that day comes?

BOSTON (May 13, 2020)—Certified Homecare Consulting (CHC), a home health care consulting company with offices in Salem, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts, is responding to the limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply resources through strengthening its ordering positions with new and existing supply chain partners in order to ensure that home health care provider agencies are able to source these materials from a reliable partner in a timely manner, with limit

By Judith Graham

DENVER ― Last month, Minna Buck revised a document specifying her wishes should she become critically ill.

“No intubation,” she wrote in large letters on the form, making sure to include the date and her initials.

Buck, 91, had been following the news about COVID-19. She knew her chances of surviving a serious bout of the illness were slim. And she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t be put on a ventilator under any circumstances.

WATERLOO, Iowa (May 7, 2020)—Heartland At Home organizers announced that registration for VGM’s virtual conference is now open.

Slated for June 15 through July 10, Heartland At Home will feature five tracks dedicated to billing and reimbursement, rehab, business operations and leadership, respiratory and accessibility. One day during each of the four weeks will feature a session from the five tracks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2020)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) most recent COVID-19 Interim Final Rule with Comment (IFC) provides flexibility for hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) to provide services to their patients to their home. During the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), a patient’s home may be considered an off-site location of a hospital department. Only registered outpatients may receive services in the home by the HOPD.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2020)—The COVID-19 stimulus legislation enacted in late March provides significant reimbursement relief for suppliers servicing Medicare beneficiaries in non-rural areas that are not subject to the bidding program. The reimbursement rate for items that have been receiving 100% of the competitive bidding adjusted fee schedule are getting a blended rate of 75% adjusted and 25% unadjusted (2015 fee schedule) rates. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 1, 2020)—More than 40% of home health agencies (HHAs) reported serving actively infected COVID-19 patients—and more than 85% in the New York/New Jersey area—in a survey conducted by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).

NAHC conducted the survey between April 6 and April 17; more than 1,100 home health companies from all states participated.