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While most of the spotlight has focused on New York’s overburdened hospital system, the state’s in-home care providers have also been feeling the pressure. Home health and home care agencies, for example, have dealt with canceled visits, PPE shortages and other serious coronavirus-related issues.
For home-based care providers, the on-the-ground COVID-19 situation is changing on a daily — sometimes even hourly — basis. And the fast-paced policy moves from Congress and the Trump administration reflect that constantly shifting landscape.
Home-based care providers have always struggled with a mismatch of supply and demand. But amid the COVID-19 crisis, it’s more important than ever for agencies to have an adequate workforce, as hospitals are relying on them to keep patients out of institutional beds.
Over the past few years, HHCN has repeatedly reported on how non-medical home care and personal care services have carved out essential roles within the broader continuum of care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, home care and personal care seem to have taken a backseat.
What should I do with any federal emergency relief money I receive? Can I bill for home health telehealth visits? Are home care workers considered “essential” health care workers? Will home-based care providers be prioritized for PPE? These are just some of the big-picture questions currently circulating throughout the home health and home care industries as the coronavirus outbreak continues.