Covid-19 Update March 18th, 2020

COVIDEO Script 3/18/2020

Our number one concern right now is the lack of PPE. While we’ve be given the guidance from the state for agencies to contact their local EMA, we’ve also be getting widespread reports that the EMA cannot assist.

We know what a difficult situation you face. We’re accelerating our calls for support. We’re also creating a 1pg guidance doc on the appropriate use of PPE that will be made available later today in our resource center.

Next, we hosted an all member call yesterday. As a result of the call, we’re doing the following:

  • First, we recommend you document EVERYTHING! This will ensure that you have justifications for all of your actions that might deviate from care provided during normal times. We’re creating a timeline of events to assist you with that documentation. That will be posted on our resource center on our website.
  • Second, we continue to get widespread reports that SNFs and Assist Living facilities are refusing entry of your providers despite ODH clarifying that they should NOT be restricting access to providers. To assist you with this issue, we’re creating a one-page document that your providers can take with them to these visits.
  • Third, given that PPE is such a major issue, the use of enhanced PPE may not be possible for all patients. The reality is that you might have to determine the level of risk of patients so that you can conserve PPE. To assist you doing that, we’re creating an assessment checklist you can use to determine risk level for every patient.

Finally, a bit of good news coming from the federal government. President Trump used is 1135 waiver authority to waive the HIPAA originating site requirement for telehealth, which will allow home health visits to be conducted via telehealth using 2-way audio/visual capabilities such as Facetime. While HHA won’t be able to bill for these visits, this will also be useful for physician F2F requirements. Hospice is forthcoming too, and we’re working with our federal folks to get more flexibility and encourage reimbursements for these visits.

We expect to hear something from CMS on program integrity within the next day or two, which will include clarity around telehealth flexibility as well as an announcement on RCD. Stay tuned!

Thanks and as always please contact OCHCH Helpdesk at Helpdesk@ochch.org.