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How Suppliers are Responding to COVID-19

As information about COVID-19 to update rapidly, healthcare providers are continually seeking guidance from CMS and the Administration on protocol for dealing with patients and adjusting their practices in these challenging circumstances.  Many AAHomecare member providers have been proactive in implementing advanced safety measures for their employees and taking additional steps to protect their patients.
 

Gary Sheehan, president and CEO of New England-based Cape Medical Supply:

“For the safety of our patients and team members, and to comply with the spirit of The Executive Office of Health and Human Services in Massachusetts, which has recommended that all healthcare providers, ‘Identify ways to limit direct person-to-person contact by leveraging technology, where appropriate,’ we have taken the following steps, after discussion with our payer partners:

  1. Close all facilities to outside visitors
  2. 80% of workforce is working from home
  3. All devices for new setups will be shipped
  4. Telephonic intervention prior to shipment as well as following shipment
  5. Numerous digital resources added to assist patients with orientation
  6. No disruption to pick/pack/ship for resupply
  7. Exception policy for physical visitation where there is a need (table in parking lot where items/paper can be safely exchanged)

Our feedback from patients has been universally positive and our referral partners were very impressed at the speed of our plan implementation and communication. We are balancing the safety of our team and patients with the needs of our patients, with the goal of uninterrupted service. The severity of this situation demanded immediate action and we are pleased at the flexibility and determination of our team in the face of substantial stress for their personal well-being and the well-being of those around them.

We have every plan to continue to operate in this fashion and get our patients what they need as quickly as we can. The situation on the ground here is not particularly encouraging and we are wishing our colleagues in the acute care community, who are about to face an unprecedented challenge, all of our thanks and well wishes. We will do whatever we can to continue to support the healthcare supply chain to ensure our communities have the best chance of success.”


George Kucka, President of Fairmeadows Home Health Center (IN):


1.    Issue Appropriate universal precautions (PPE) to all personnel involved in personal contact with clients, patients including but not limited to: 
 
•    Eye Protection 
•    N95 Qualified Masks
•    Gloves 
•    Booties
•    Bunny Suits
•    Sanitizing Agents 
 
2.    Management will amass an adequate supplies of PPE items, water, cavacide, sanitizers, paper towels, and toile paper to last for a 2 month period.
3.    Staff will be instructed to review all infection control and disaster policies for direction.
4.    Issue an advisory to all ECFS that FHHC will only effect deliveries in a central location or directly outside a facility.
5.    All equipment will be sanitized prior to delivery and at the tine of retrieval prior to being loaded on the FHHC vehicles. 
6.    Any potential exposure to the pandemic entity will be reported to the Indiana State Health Department for guidance on how to handle the situation. 
7.    Signs will be posted outside all entrances to FHHC indicating that no one would be admitted if they answer positively to the attached questions.
8.    Staff will be required to screen anyone calling in for an appointment with FHHC by asking the attached questions and anyone respoinding the in the positive will be told that they will have to wait until further notice for an appointment.
9.    The disaster and infection control policies will be reviewed and adjusted if needed. 
 


Jason Morin, Billing & Reimbursement Manager, Home Care Specialist, Inc. (MA): 

We have adopted a “no touch” policy for all possible deliveries. This includes not collecting signatures whenever possible. We are using “COVID19 Precautions” as the reason patient could not sign.

MA Medicaid adopted this recommendation as well as some of the points below after feedback from HOMES providers. https://www.mass.gov/doc/ltss-provider-updates-for-covid-19/download

 

If your company has taken steps to change your protocol in this unprecedented time, please share with Ashley Plauché  at ashleyp@aahomecare.org.