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.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 19, 2020)—The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world for homecare—but also elevated the profession in the eyes of the public and lawmakers, William A. Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, said Monday as he opened the group’s annual conference.

“What has emerged is energy and enthusiasm about our future,” Dombi said.

MassPACE, the Massachusetts chapter of Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, has taken an innovative approach to serving its clients, mostly patients who are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, during the pandemic. While traditionally center-based, MassPACE shifted to an at-home model, sending caregivers out with tablets for telehealth and also setting up social activities, counseling and more.

ATLANTA (October 1, 2020)—Since 1979, Medtrade has brought the home medical equipment (HME) industry together to connect, share ideas and experience the newest HME technology and personal health products; our goal is always to support this remarkable community. 

Given the ongoing concerns around COVID-19, and our commitment to the safety of our industry, we are cancelling our in-person event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, scheduled for Nov. 2-4, 2020. 

PHILADELPHIA, (September 29, 2020)—OneClick.chat, an innovative video chat platform, announced positive outcomes in the study of older adults—with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—who used their video chat technology to engage in social activities to meet new people of all ages with shared interests. Some of the participants' favorite topics of conversation were books, health, family and exercise.

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).