“When it became apparent that COVID-19 was sweeping the country, one of the earliest major preventative steps was a move by the federal government to instate a near-total lockdown on any unnecessary visits.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the sweeping ban on March 13, which did include an exception for end-of-life visitations. Health care workers, such as third-party practitioners like hospice staff and dialysis technicians, were exempt as long as they met the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance at the time.
The ban also included a complete suspension of group activities in nursing homes.
The result was to effectively keep residents confined to their rooms. It was a move that made sense at least at first; there were many unknowns about how COVID-19 spread, and one of the few known facts about the illness was its heightened lethality for older people and those with underlying chronic health conditions.
“The first real epicenter for COVID in the U.S. was in a nursing home, you know, in Kirkland,” Tony Chicotel, a staff attorney for the advocacy organization California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), told Skilled Nursing News on July 15. “That, I think, just drove up the panic level by a multiple of two or three, so that it was just: Okay, shut it down, build a moat. Don’t let anybody into these places other than the staff.”
But as COVID-19 continues to ripple across the country, “building a moat” is becoming less and less feasible, especially as the possibility of resuming visits as they were pre-COVID seems to be years away, he said.”
“Across the U.S., hospital systems are bleeding money. The coronavirus is largely to blame, with most of the country suspending elective procedures and non-essential hospital services for the majority of spring.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), for example, estimates that COVID-19’s financial impact to hospitals and health systems over the four-month period from March 1 to June 30 will total $202.6 billion, with losses averaging over $50 billion per month.
In May, the chairman of the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco, Dr. Bob Wachter, told CNBC that his hospitals were losing more than $5 million per day in April.
Meanwhile, admissions, surgeries and emergency department visits of HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Community Health Systems Inc. and Universal Health Services Inc. all dropped 20% to 40% during the last two weeks of March, according to a Commonwealth Fund study released Friday. The situation for those large for-profit hospital systems was even bleaker in April, contributing to first-quarter aggregate operating profits dropping 13.5%.”
Read the full article here: https://homehealthcarenews.com/2020/06/as-hospitals-lose-50b-per-month-home-health-providers-consider-new-acquisition-opportunities/
“Home health agencies have always had to prioritize infection control as part of Medicare’s Conditions of Participation (CoPs). But that hasn’t always been the case for non-medical home care providers.
That quickly changed after the coronavirus began spreading across the country in March and April. Now, infection control is likely something non-medical home care providers will have to think about for the foreseeable future.
Broadly, infection-control protocols are aimed at halting the spread of germs and infectious diseases in health care settings, including the home.
When it comes to the COVID-19 emergency and infection control, most of the nation’s attention has been directed to hospitals and long-term care facilities. That’s not surprising, as nursing home residents account for nearly one in 10 of all the coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than one-quarter of coronavirus-related deaths, according to a recent Associated Press analysis.”
Read the full article here: https://homehealthcarenews.com/2020/06/home-care-agencies-starting-to-wake-up-to-infection-control/
“Do you realize that what caregivers for the elderly do is so important in so many ways? It’s not just the daily living skills, bathing assistance, and household help they provide.
It’s that daily smile, laughs, conversation, companionship, caring or recreational activity. The stuff that feeds one’s soul. Makes them feel alive. A reason to smile. Caregivers are the stars in the sky. Breaths of fresh air. High points of the day. Our senior’s well-being depends on them!
And how much is that worth???
Their job is not easy. It requires a lot of skill and knowledge to understand seniors, to have the required patience, to recognize their individual cognitive skill levels to meet their needs accordingly. And to tolerate the abuse that inherently comes with the decline in mental processes of perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning. To remain calm when they want to scream. They care for people and then find a way to care a little more.
Your seniors need these people – and so do you. More than you realize. Treat them accordingly. Value them. Honor them. Reward them. Respect them. They are to be cherished,
My dear mother-in-law resides at The Gardens of Scottsdale. I appreciate each and every caregiver there. And the maintenance man. He takes care of every single need in their mind. Things we think are unimportant are like an IRS audit to seniors… Stressful until it’s taken care of. Even if it means several visits a day. I wish I could give each of them a million dollars. That’s how much they are worth. Especially now. -Denise Heinrich “
“Caring for older adults was already expensive, emotionally taxing and logistically difficult — and the coronavirus is only making it worse.
Why it matters: People older than 65 have the highest risk of dying from the virus, and outbreaks have been rampant in long-term care facilities. That is creating anxiety for seniors and their families.
The big picture: Most seniors will need at least some long-term care, but the coronavirus has added even more complications to the tough decisions about how to obtain it.
- Assisted-living and independent-living facilities cost an average of at least $4,000 a month, almost always paid out of pocket.
- Nursing homes are generally more affordable, but people often have to burn through their savings, pensions and other assets on their way there.
- Nursing homes also are cramped, understaffed and have poor track records with infection control to begin with — and they’ve been hotbeds for the spread of the coronavirus.
- Home care is another option. If a professional worker isn’t available, the task often depends on the charity of a friend or relative, and that’s a dicier proposition when those friends or relatives could be carrying the virus — or unemployed, caring for children or otherwise just not able to help…”
Read the full article here: https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-long-term-care-778746cd-97cf-4713-860f-e2c5cc135f87.html