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As more home health patients start to refuse visits for fear of being exposed to COVID-19 virus, it’s crucial to have a plan and provide guidance to clinicians for handling patient refusals.
CMS has clarified some points related to homebound status and telehealth use to help home health during the national public health emergency.
With short supply of full protective gear available to protect home health care workers, agencies have important decisions to make about how they will continue to serve patients during the weeks and months ahead as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the U.S.
A home health face-to-face encounter can now happen via telehealth under a new CMS waiver.
Agencies should monitor staffing levels to ensure they have enough workers to meet patient needs as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Agencies should pay special attention to therapy documentation in 2020, especially because many industry experts expect therapy utilization and therapy documentation to be the subject of extra CMS scrutiny under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM).
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared a public health emergency Jan. 31, in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which started in China and has been identified in several cases in the U.S.
Consider tapping agency clinicians to help pick up the pace and achieve success within the shortened billing cycle under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM).
As part of a routine assessment for all patients, agencies should begin conducting a Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) to detect patients’ cognitive impairments.
Agencies shouldn’t lose sight of maintenance therapy in 2020 as the service will continue to play an important role in the care agencies provide under PDGM.


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