News Roundup June 19th, 2020

In this week’s round up, we try to gain some perspective on the economic outlook in home health. With the economy reopening, home health is starting to see a sure and steady rebound, but the industry continues to experience interim pain.  Agencies continue to see a reduction in therapy-related services due to PDGM and COVID-19 and increased visit cancellations because of patient fear of contracting the coronavirus.

Read more here: Home Health Care News

“KFF and the Peterson Center found that home health employment decreased 7% from February to April 2020, with job loss stabilizing and showing no change from April to May. On top of that, home health spending was down 12% from February to March.”

There is, however, hope in the longer term for the industry in the form of permanent changes such as telehealth. In fact, virtual visits could account for $250 billion (about 20%) of what Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers spend on outpatient, office, and home health visits. Moreover, 35% of regular home health attendant services could be virtualized.

From the AMA:

According to a May 29 report from McKinsey & Company Health Care Systems & Services, “Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?”  Physicians and other health professionals are now seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did before the pandemic. 46% of patients are now using telehealth to replace canceled in-person visits, up from the just 11% of patients who used telehealth in 2019.

And finally, June 18th marks the beginning of National Nursing Assistants’ Week.  It has been observed for seven days starting Thursday of the second full week in June since 1977.  Be sure to show your appreciation!