The Nebraska Association For Home Healthcare & Hospice is concerned about COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus Disease, and how it will impact members and your patients. First discovered last December (2019), COVID-19 is a novel virus first identified in a group of pneumonia cases in China. The coronavirus continues to spread around the world and, as with any other newly identified virus, there is much to learn about the disease process, mode of transmission, incubation period, symptoms, and treatment.
At this point in time the home care and hospice care industry should be preparing for altered and crisis standards of care. A review of your pandemic plan should currently be underway and response processes should be updated. The home care and hospice care practice is dependent on personnel, so up-to-date information and training is essential.
Much is still unknown, but the following resources have been provided for members and visitors of the home health and hospice community. This page will continue to be updated as more information is made available.
New on the Page (Updated April 2, 2020):
CRITICAL NOTICE: Hospice and other health care workers are listed as exceptions to visitor restrictions and subject to the same screening as all other workers entering a facility. For reference:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska COVID-19 and Telehealth Update (March 26)
Coronavirus Products and Resources
NEW: McKesson Medical-Surgical Supplier Updates
- To read McKesson's letter to customers addressing supply challenges, the updated allocation strategy and more, click here.
- McKesson's new COVID-19 Safe Zone Delivery Protocols are available here.
NAHC Coronavirus Products and Resources Page: https://www.nahc.org/resources-services/coronavirus-resources/covid19-partners/
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask (facemasks are only needed for those who show symptoms of coronavirus).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has created a new resource page specifically for helping the home care and hospice community remain informed and deal safely and appropriately with the spread of COVID-19, the Coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Resource Page will be updated constantly until this crisis has passed and it will be populated with the latest information, guidance, and best practices. In order to maximize exposure to education and promote the general welfare, the information on this page will be available and free to everyone.
Right now, on the COVID-19 Resource Page, you will find resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as NAHC’s COVID-19 checklist for home care and hospice and disease response and management, in cooperation with disaster preparedness and infection control expert Barbara Citarella and the LHC Group, respectively.
The most recent addition is NAHC's Coronavirus Products and Services Resources Page.
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health
The Nebraska DHHS Division of Public Services has made information available on its website, http://dhhs.ne.gov/ and has a dedicated page, http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx.
The site includes Health Care Provider Information and updated Public Service Messages.
NEW: Executive Orders (Full list at bottom of linked page)
NEW: CMS response to Nebraska 1135 waiver request (April 2)
The Medicaid COVID-19 Provider Bulletin (Updated March 17) is available here, http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Medicaid-Provider-Bulletins.aspx.
An information hotline is also available from 8 a.m. CST (7 a.m. MST) - 8 p.m. CST (7 p.m. MST) at (402) 552-6645.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to Ensure Individuals, Issuers and States have Clear Information on Coverage Benefits for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This action is part of the broader, ongoing effort by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the COVID-19 virus – have access to the health benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the spread of this disease.
NEW: CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19 (March 22, 2020): https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-relief-clinicians-providers-hospitals-and-facilities-participating-quality-reporting
NEW: Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief FAQs and Expedited Toll-Free Hotlines (Updated March 23, 2020): https://www.cms.gov/files/document/provider-enrollment-relief-faqs-covid-19.pdf
FAQs for State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Agencies (Updated March 18, 2020): https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/downloads/covid-19-faqs.pdf
Medicare Telehealth FAQs (Updated March 17, 2020): https://edit.cms.gov/files/document/medicare-telehealth-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-31720.pdf
FAQs for EHB (Updated March 12, 2020): https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/Downloads/EHB-Benchmark-Coverage-of-COVID-19.pdf
CMS is also posting FAQs to the Medicaid.gov website to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to COVID-19 in its continuing efforts to protect the health and safety of providers and patients.
Press release: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-publishes-first-set-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-state-medicaid-and-childrens-health.
FAQs for State Medicaid and CHIP agencies: https://www.medicaid.gov/state-resource-center/disaster-response-toolkit/covid19/index.html.
These FAQs, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.
NEW: Leading in the Time of COVID-19 (Free Webinar)
Thursday, April 9, at 12 p.m. (Central)
During this challenging time, it is crucial for leadership to present a calm demeanor and support the physical and psychological health of our employees. This webinar will focus on operational actions you can take in preparation for the weeks and months and on ways to keep your caregivers safe, happy, and on your team for the long haul! Click here for more information or to register.
COVID-19: The Impact on Home Care and Hospice (For Promo Code and pay only $40, contact NEhomehealthcareandhospice@assocoffice.net)
Topics of the webinar include:
- Describe the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and discuss where it came from.
- List the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Describe the infection control precautions that should be followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- List the steps to take if a client begins to show symptoms of coronavirus.
Home Care Pulse and In the Know are providing a free 30-minute training for non-medical caregivers on COVID-19: Download Free 30-Minute Coronavirus Training
Contact Nehomehealthcareandhospice@assocoffice.net if you have questions or concerns about scarcity of supplies, staffing numbers and alternatives, or other management issues.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
What you should know:
Information for Businesses:
Information for Healthcare Providers, First Responders,
and Research Facilities:
Information for Families and Households:
Information for Community Events and Gatherings: