We’re here for you and we continue to care for patients every day. In-home care can play an important role in getting – and keeping – patients safe at home during the COVID-19 public health emergency. With new CMS clarifications and rules and enhanced safety measures, we’re ready, equipped and up to the challenge to help you keep your most vulnerable patients safer at home.
What’s New During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
- Homebound status has been clarified to include people with a medical contraindication that increases their risk of COVID-19.
- Two-way telehealth with audio and video is acceptable for the Face-to-Face visit.
- Amedisys is proactively providing PPE to all our care center teams and requiring daily self-screenings.
Safety Measures to Help Protect You and Your Patients
We’re taking enhanced safety measures, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, to help prevent the spread of disease. For example:
- PPE: We proactively provide PPE to all our care teams and require all staff to wear a face mask when reporting to work. Our care teams wear appropriate PPE in every patient interaction, regardless of the patient’s COVID-19 status. We also ask our patients to wear masks during visits. We’re centrally managing PPE across our 479 care centers so we can send it where needed to help stretch this valuable resource.
- Screenings: We require employees to complete a daily self-assessment to monitor symptoms of illness such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. We’re also screening patients (and others present during the home visit) prior to each skilled visit. We ask about recent travel, symptoms of respiratory illness and exposure to others with COVID-19.
- Patient/Family Education:We provide education about proper hand hygiene, household infection control practices, and how to monitor for symptoms that indicate a need for emergency help or further medical care, among other topics.
- Following Latest Guidance: Our multidisciplinary emergency response team has extensive experience in infectious diseases, public health and disaster response. We’re closely following guidance from the CDC and public health resources to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Expanded Access to Home Health Care
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued temporary home health eligibility requirements to give health care providers flexibility to focus on patient care. This makes home health care an option for more people who need it.
Homebound Status (clarified during COVID-19)
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, certain people who didn’t qualify for home health previously may now meet homebound requirements. This includes patients a physician certifies should not leave home (who have a skilled need) because they:
- Have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19
- Have a medical contraindication that increases their risk of infection. According to the CDC, examples of those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 include:
- People age 65+
- People of all ages with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunosuppression, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or liver disease, among others
Face-to-Face Encounter (related to the primary reason the patient requires home health services)
If your patient meets homebound criteria, this should be documented in the medical record and as part of the Face-to-Face encounter. Telehealth visits with two-way audio and video communication now satisfy the Face-to-Face encounter requirement.
- Need for Part-Time or Intermittent Skilled Care
- Patient Under Physician’s Care
- Physician-Signed Home Health Plan of Care
Now more than ever, it’s important to work with a home health provider you can trust and coordinate care with seamlessly. Here are a few reasons Amedisys is a home health partner you can depend on through the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Virtual care transitions, which help patients make a smooth transition from hospitals to post-acute care settings or the community and minimize the risk of rehospitalization
- Quick referrals and timely patient updates
- On-call 24/7 for urgent needs
- Safety precautions to help minimize exposure to COVID-19, including proactively providing PPE to all our care teams and a multidisciplinary Emergency Preparedness Response Team
- Superior quality scores and evidence-based care
- Serving patients and families since 1982, providing expert care to more than 340,000 patients each year
We’re here to help you keep your most vulnerable patients safer at home. Call your nearest Amedisys home health or hospice agency to learn more. To refer a patient, please call, fax or complete the fast track referral form on the right.