However, an additional three days may be enough time for Curative to send enough test kits to the various facilities but it does not help home health providers obtain the required testing for their staff in an environment where outside testing is becoming harder and harder to obtain. It is critical for home health clinicians to have access to those facilities so they can fulfill the physician’s orders that have been given to them.
HCAF and the Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association have sent a joint letter to AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew outlining the difficulties that home health and hospice providers are experiencing with access to testing. Our requests were simple.
We strongly ask the State of Florida to provide home health agencies and hospices access to the state’s testing program — sooner than later.
The AHCA Emergency Rule (principle and purpose) should fully apply to HHA and Hospice team members serving patients and clients in LTC facilities , including the free testing kits.
AHCA, Florida Department of Health, and the Emergency Operations Center should create special considerations at testing sites for health care workers in general, and home health and hospice team members, in particular.
We continue to encourage all providers to do all that you can to get your staff tested as soon as possible — it’s the right thing to do for the patient — but start by asking the facility directly to include your staff in their testing regimen/count. AHCA has stated that the results do not have to be back before the deadline, but you would have to now provide some proof that your staff have been tested prior to July 10. Many providers have already voiced their concerns to AHCA directly, but if you have not done so, or want to stress to the decision makers that a three-day extension is just not enough time, please email your comments to HQAHomeHealth@ahca.myflorida.com.