Issue: Home Health Care in Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) and Similar Facilities (added 3/20)
Question: ALFs and similar facilities are denying us access to care for our patients. What can we do?
Answer: The federal government does not regulate ALFs, personal care homes and the like. States may have issued guidance to these facilities to restrict all visitors. In such cases, we recommend working with the facility to explain that home health care staff are not visitors but are health care providers. Home health care staff should utilize PPE properly and pass any facility screenings before entering these facilities. It may be helpful to share the CMS guidance to nursing homes which can be found in the link below. Even though these facilities are not nursing homes, they may consider CMS guidance to nursing homes in a memo dated March 13, 2020 and guidance published in another recently released memo.
If home health providers are not successful in getting facility access granted, it may be helpful to speak with the local and state officials regarding the prohibition.
Home health agencies may also be able to revise the home health plan of care for fewer visits, if appropriate.
For questions about telehealth visits, please see guidance here and here.