The National Association for Home Care & Hospice conducted a survey of home health agencies in late April. Responses indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the care delivery system, bringing significant financial pressures throughout the country. The impact is due to pandemic-triggered changes affecting services to the usual 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who receive care in the home as well as the new patient population of COVID-19 patients. Nationwide, 41.5% of HHAs report serving actively infected COVID-19 patients. In the NY/NJ "hot spot" 85.71% of HHAs report serving such patients.
The survey was conducted between April 6 and April 17 by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. Respondents, totaling 1119, included home health companies from all states. Of the respondents, 67.3% provide some care in rural areas. The findings indicate serious concerns about the financial stability of home health agencies as operations and revenues have been severely affected in multiple ways. These findings include:
Overall, the survey strongly suggests that home health agencies need financial support and Medicare policy relief in order to continue to serve COVID-19 infected patients as well as the other 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who utilize cost effective, high quality care at home each year.
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