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.

FORT WORTH, Texas (September 22, 2020)—VERTESS, a health care mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm, announced the closing of four major durable medical equipment (DME) health care transactions in Q2 and Q3 2020, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic. Even during unprecedented times, 2020 has been steadily gaining momentum within the DME industry. With several successful transactions this year, traction continues to increase in this sector.

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (SEPTEMBER 16, 2020)—According to a Relias survey of more than 5,000 health care and public safety professionals, 59% of respondents indicated a lack of well-developed methods of evaluating whether training is actually being put into practice on the job. This is down from 74% in 2017; however, it alludes to the prevalent gap in the perceived value and the impact of staff development and training.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 15, 2020)—The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a "Temporary Rule" in response to an Aug. 3, 2020 decision of a federal court in New York that invalidated the department's earlier rulemaking. While there remains a legal issue as to whether the court's ruling is limited to New York, DOL chose to issue a new rule that would be effective prospectively beginning Sept. 11, 2020. 

LOS ANGELES, (September 1, 2020)—The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging and Element3 Health jointly announced the launch of the End Loneliness Initiative, a collaboration aimed at curtailing the rise of social isolation and loneliness in older adults that is growing in the face of ongoing "shelter in place" measures. Loneliness and isolation had been a significant factor in older adults' health before COVID-19 and has been exacerbated by the ongoing crisis.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 28, 2020)—The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) submitted a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar on the need for clear and timely guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to state Medicaid and CHIP programs when HHS elects to end the current public health emergency (PHE).

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 28, 2020)—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new targeted distribution of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund that allocates funds to providers that treat uninsured patients during this public health emergency, in April. This funding allows providers that serviced uninsured patients on or after Feb. 4, 2020 to receive payment at Medicare allowables.

WASHIGNTON, D.C. (August 25, 2020)—Providers were expecting to receive quarterly reporting instructions from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Aug. 17, for funds received under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) program. However, HHS has announced a delay in this information as they are still refining data elements and formulating a template to be used for reporting. The reporting system is still expected to be available Oct. 1, 2020.

GARDENA, Calif. — Daisy Conant, 91, thrives off routine.

One of her favorites is reading the newspaper with her morning coffee. But, lately, the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has been more agitating than pleasurable. “We’re dropping like flies,” she said one recent morning, throwing her hands up.