News Roundup May 29th, 2020

Home health workers continue to work at breakneck speed on the frontlines during the pandemic and do not see any real slack in workload. However, as the US healthcare system continues to navigate new frontiers, observers of the industry are seeing progress in utilizing technology to help manage caseloads. 

From Ohio, the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge workforce capacity. Yet, many on the frontlines are showing up day after day to tend to the sick and those in need.

Read more from WTOL

“When they say that they’re heroes that’s exactly what they are, they don’t wear capes, they’re in scrubs,” she said. “They were willing to go in and take care of their clients at all costs.”

DCist has an interview spotlighting the day to day of a home health worker giving us a glimpse into what life is like managing the workflow of a clinician.

“Brenda Lee, 58, is a home health aide with Home Care Partners, a non-profit home health agency based in D.C. She lives alone in Maryland and works three times a week in the Home Care Partners office. But twice a week, Lee drives to Northeast D.C. to care for elderly clients who need assistance in their homes, working with some of the people most vulnerable to COVID-19. As of May 25, 1,689 of D.C.’s 8,334 positive cases have been people over the age of 65.”

When dealing with Telehealth sessions one of the main questions is: Is the connection secure? This also leads to the query: Is the technology used for telehealth HIPAA compliant? Some users are hesitant to reveal sensitive information on a platform like Zoom. 

Read more from Burlington, VT’s WCAX

“I’m a person who wants to protect their privacy. It’s important to me and I certainly don’t want to be discussing my medical issues on Zoom,” said Laura Frey of Essex Junction.”

And yet as “telehealth is booming,” it was reported that “The UVM Health Network tells us just 1%-2% of their visits prior to the coronavirus outbreak were via video conferencing. Now, it’s up to 80%.” We will be continuously monitoring developments and see how telehealth can be integrated as a solid platform as technology interweaves with workforce management. 

Lastly, the CMS has finalized requirements to expand telehealth services for the elderly population enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. This expansion marks an increased focus by governmental agencies and the federal government to merge technology with healthcare delivery in becoming more agile managing health cases.

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today finalized requirements that will increase access to telehealth for seniors in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, expand the types of supplemental benefits available for beneficiaries with an MA plan who have chronic diseases, provide support for more MA options for beneficiaries in rural communities, and expand access to MA for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).”