Home Health Articles and Information


Apr 7, 2020 8:31:00 AM / by Kristi Bajer, BSN, RN, COS-C

COVID-19 Calm Before the Storm

COVID-19 has changed home care dramatically.  If your HHA is in a hard-hit metropolitan area, you may be dealing with staff shortages and a high volume of referrals.  If not, your agency is likely facing just the opposite.  As much as 50% fewer referrals.  It’s as though the medical community is on hold waiting for a tidal wave.

If your HHA is facing a dramatic loss of referrals, what you do now to make sure you are prepared to be pivotal in your community is crucial.


Internal Considerations

  • Staff reduction- If you have to reduce staff, take the time to identify your lower- performing employees rather than a “last hired first fired” approach. This is hard- use it to strengthen your team.
  • Payment type- Take a good look at the method you are using for reimbursement. If you have been considering making a change, for example, from hourly to per visit- do it now.
  • Increase efficiency- Take the time to review your SOC and quality assurance procedures. If your HHA is still unable to bill a RAP and send out a POC in under 72 hrs, use your downtime to make some needed changes. This increased capacity for care will serve you well if COVID-19 becomes severe in your area and when resuming normal operations after the crises.
  • COVID-19 Relief- The US Small Business Administration has several options small businesses can take advantage of during this health crisis. See the SBA link below.

Community Considerations

  • Offer to partner with your regular referral sources to keep their most vulnerable patients out of the office. Free assessments from clinical staff is a viable way you can be an asset.
  • Reach out to former patients with chronic conditions and let them know your HHA is available to help. Technology is often challenging for the home health population.
  • Assist in setting up grocery or medication delivery
  • Assist to set up a virtual doctor visit if needed
    (this can count as your face to face- a win for both of you)
  • Reach out to the city or county medical community to make sure you are included in the overall COVID-19 response.  HHAs could host testing locations or provide in-home testing when available.

We believe the home health industry will come out strong and show enormous value in the current crises.  If your feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of the next steps, we hope you will consider those listed above while finding your own inspiration.


Tags: Home Health, COVID-19

Kristi Bajer, BSN, RN, COS-C

Written by Kristi Bajer, BSN, RN, COS-C

Kristi Bajer BSN, RN, COS-C, brings over 10 years of real world experience as a clinician, director, and administrator in home health. She is a firm believer in diagnosis driven evidence-based care in home health. Currently, she assists agencies with external chart audits and Medicare appeals, as well as providing training and coaching on OperaCare implementation and building QAPI programs using data to drive success and protect agencies from government audits.