News Roundup May 8th, 2020

In this week’s news roundup, the concern for shortages of protective gear and tests continue to be at the forefront of home healthcare workers’ minds.  Most agencies have witnessed a drop in their census due to patients and families turning away their care at home for fear of catching the virus.  On the other hand, some clinicians are refusing to go into work due to the inability of obtaining proper safety equipment.

Read more here:  Politico News

“Even if they have been prescribed care, they’re saying they’d rather be safe than sorry and they’re saying no to home care workers.  They’re choosing to go without a bath. They may end up lying in their own incontinence. We’re getting reports of family members stepping in to do some of this work, but that isn’t always possible.”

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice conducted a survey revealing that more than half of the 1,000 home health agencies surveyed  in all 50 states had laid off staff.  They also found that 96% reported that at least some patients refuse services during the pandemic.

In other news, there continues to be an overpowering amount of hospitals trying to overcome the Coronavirus pandemic.  As hospital’s start to send Covid-19 patient’s home from the hospital to make space, home health nurses are picking up the slack to make sure these patients are safe and not re-hospitalized.

From the Lower Hudson Valley’s news source:

“The hospitals are so jam-packed that if a patient appears stable enough to go home with oxygen, they send them home.  We monitor them, teach them how to do breathing exercises.” 

In more updates, most home healthcare agencies around the nation are suffering from a decrease in revenue due to the pandemic.  According to a new National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) survey, over 50% of agencies have seen revenue reductions in excess of 15%. Nearly 80% of agencies have experienced a decline in admissions.   

As home care slowly becomes the new front in the national fight against the virus, hospitals are drafting plans to restart elective surgeries giving hope to home healthcare agencies in the near future.

From KTTC Minnesota News:

“Minnesota has made significant progress in building up critical resources to combat COVID-19,” Walz said in a. statement. “We’re proud that this progress will allow our medical professionals to safely resume certain procedures to keep Minnesotans healthy and improve their quality of life.”