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.

 

Nearly 18 months after getting COVID-19 and spending weeks in the hospital, Terry Bell struggles with hanging up his shirts and pants after doing the laundry.

Lifting his clothes, raising his arms, arranging items in his closet leave Bell short of breath and often trigger severe fatigue. He walks with a cane, only short distances. He’s 50 pounds lighter than when the virus struck.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 24, 2022)—In a letter urging Congressional leaders to stave off a financial calamity that could harm older adults, Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, called for the continuation of the Medicare “sequestration holiday”—as well as continued and expanded Provider Relief Funds (PRF) to support aging services providers hard hit by continued COVID-19-related expenses. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 22, 2022)—The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) sent a letter  to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to request an extension of the public health emergency (PHE) declaration, which is set to expire in a few weeks, so that long-term and post-acute care providers can continue to offer the most efficient and effective care possible to the nation’s most vulnerable population.
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 3, 2022)—As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to expand Americans’ access to free testing, people in either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage will be able to get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost starting in early spring. Under the new initiative, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to access up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month for free.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2021)—An audit of eight home health agencies (HHAs) by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that most had infection control policies and procedures that met the standards set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and followed CMS COVID-19 guidance to safeguard Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and staff during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report issued last week.

ATLANTA (September 28, 2021)—In light of the changing public health situation in the United States, Medtrade East is now requiring masks for the Oct. 18-20 show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

“Recent industry shows have required masks,” said York Schwab, associate show director, Medtrade East. “At this point, it’s the right decision for the health and safety of our exhibitors and attendees.”

BIRMINGHAM, AL (September 23, 2021)—On Sept. 9, the Biden administration announced that staff at Medicare and Medicaid-certified “facilities”—including home health agencies and likely home medical equipment providers—will be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine. Homecare providers should work now to get health care staff vaccinated to make sure they are in compliance when the rule takes effect, the government said.