During this critical time, Home Health Care News remains committed to bringing you all the essential news related to home-based care operations. At the same time, we also recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to our regular content, we’ll continue to highlight industry-related developments and mitigation strategies in this rolling bulletin.
What you need to know from Monday (April 27)
— The majority of adults age 70 or older — 55% — have experienced disruptions in medical care as a result of the coronavirus and the social distancing that comes with it, new research suggests.
— Tufts Medical Center has partnered with hospital-at-home company Medically Home to transition patients from its institutional settings back into their homes, where they’ll continue to receive hospital-level care. Tufts is the latest to embrace the hospital-at-home model, which is gaining steam as COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe.
— Despite the fact that some states are rolling back their stay-at-home orders and reopening business, social distancing will probably remain in place through the summer, according to the White House’s coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx. Reopening will likely be a slow process, Birx said during an interview with NBC News, but finding a “breakthrough” in antigen testing could help speed up the process.
— President Donald Trump continues to dismiss personal protective equipment shortages as “fake news,” saying his administration has “loaded up” hospitals. However, health care providers are telling a different story of persistent shortages.
— Nursing homes continue to struggle with the COVID-19 virus, as their residents are among the populations most vulnerable. Additionally, staff are underpaid and the reimbursement system is broken, experts say.
COVID-19 interrupts seniors’ medical care
About 55% of seniors age 70 and older saw their medical care interrupted in the first month of social distancing for the coronavirus, according to a nationwide survey by NORC at the University of Chicago.
The survey was co-designed and funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation and The SCAN Foundation. It included responses from 1,039 seniors aged 70 and older, who completed the survey between April 10 and April 15.
“The first month of social distancing in America certainly saved lives, and yet it also created a situation where many older adults are not getting the care they need to manage serious health conditions,” Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, said in a press release announcing the news. “As our nation grapples with when and how to reopen, the healthcare system will reckon with unaddressed medical needs and learn how to maximize new protocols to care for older adults with complex needs in flexible, person-centered ways.”
Survey respondents indicated that both non-essential and essential medical treatment were delayed.
About 39% said they canceled or delayed non-essential treatment, while another 32% said they put off primary or preventative care. Meanwhile, one in six canceled or delayed essential medical treatment.
On a brighter note, a good number of seniors — 21% — say they’ve had telehealth appointments since social distancing began, and very few — 4% — noted having a “much worse” experience than in-person appointments.
For daily updates from the week of April 20, click here.
For daily updates from the week of April 13, click here.
For daily updates from the week of April 6, click here.
For daily updates from the week of March 30, click here.
For daily updates from the week of March 23, click here.
For daily updates from the week of March 16, click here.
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