News Roundup July 24th, 2020

Worldwide we are seeing regions that once tamped down on COVID-19 spread beginning to experience a resurgence in cases. Countries leading worldwide infections are the United States, Brazil and India. In the US, systems are tested on a daily basis. A continuous drive to innovate practice, styles and patient care is moving at breakneck speed. What were once considered gold standards for care are now being reassessed and readjusted. 

Home Health Care News reports some early signs that under CMS’ rollout of PDGM earlier this year agencies are not performing universally especially when you look at regions and other uncontrollable factors. 

“CMS created a model that was based on all claims nationally, but depending on where you are and the types of patients you’re seeing, I’m expecting we’re going to see some real winners and losers,” Chris Attaya, vice president of product strategy at Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP), said.

[…]For example, the data shows that for the first five months of the year, the Southwest had the lowest average case-mix weight for non-Low Utilization Payment Adjustment (LUPA) episodes of any region in the country, at 0.997. Meanwhile, the Northeast saw the highest average case-mix weight of 1.179.”

In Nebraska, required testing for COVID-19 before scheduled surgeries could be a preview, on a wider scale, where the need for testing outweighs the prioritization of elective surgeries. Already, reports are cropping up in which elective surgeries are taking a backseat and as a result the industry sees a drop in activity and revenue as reported by Healthcare Finance:

“Reenita Das, a senior vice president and partner at Frost and Sullivan, said that during the pandemic, plastic surgery activity declined by 100%, ENT surgeries declined by 79%, cardiovascular surgeries declined by 53% and neurosurgery surgeries declined by 57%.”