Patients turn away home health providers over COVID-19 fears

Concerns over spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable patient populations is complicating work for hundreds of thousands of home health providers nationwide, reports Kaiser Health News.

Providers like hospice nurses and home health aides are taking extra precautions when caring for elderly patients or those with disabilities in their own homes. These precautions include calling patients before a scheduled visit to see if anyone in the household has COVID-19 symptoms, washing their hands in front of patients and wearing protective gear during visits.

Despite these actions, some patients are still turning away their home health providers over fears of contracting the virus.

"There is the knowledge that these are health workers who have skills that can benefit you, but the fear is the healthcare worker: Who is the last person they saw and where have they been lately and are they bringing something into my home?" Thomas Schaaf, MD, CMO of the Home and Community Care division for Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, told KHN.

To view the full article, click here.

More articles on post-acute care:
30% of nursing homes don't have N95 masks, survey finds
One-third of Medicare ICU patients skip at-home rehab after discharge, study finds
Nursing homes will be 'hit very hard' by COVID-19, health official warns

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