Author: Tom Maxwell
Posted Date: July 18, 2023
As the COVID-19 pandemic's public health emergency (PHE) ended on May 11, 2023, home health providers are bracing for several changes, including the end of waivers that have allowed them to operate more flexibly during the pandemic. The conclusion of these assessment and submission waivers presents new challenges for home health agencies (HHAs). Agencies will need expert guidance to navigate the new landscape in the absence of these waivers.
One significant change is the end of the therapy assessment waiver, which allowed therapy staff to complete the initial or comprehensive assessment for patients where therapy was not the qualifying service. This waiver was put in place in March 2020 to help home health agencies deal with staffing shortages during the early days of the pandemic. With the waiver no longer available, HHAs will need to revise their staffing models to ensure that nurses are available to perform assessments within the required timeframe.
Another significant change is the end of the OASIS 30-day completion waiver. This waiver allowed home health agencies to have 30 days to complete the comprehensive assessment instead of the usual five (5) days. It provided HHAs with flexibility during the pandemic when staffing challenges were prevalent. However, with the waiver no longer in effect, HHAs must return to the regular assessment timeline, completing the comprehensive assessment within five (5) days. This change places additional pressure on agencies, necessitating careful resource allocation and efficient workflows.
In addition to the conclusion of assessment waivers, home health agencies are facing other challenges as well:
To address these challenges and ensure compliance, HHAs can turn to organizations like Maxwell Healthcare Associates (MHA) for assistance. These organizations offer a range of services to support HHAs:
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated waivers come to an end, home health agencies face a period of transition and adaptation. The conclusion of therapy assessment and OASIS completion waivers adds complexity to an already challenging landscape. However, by collaborating with organizations like MHA, HHAs can navigate these changes successfully. Through their expertise in compliance, operational assessments, training, and ongoing support, MHA empowers HHAs to ensure compliance, optimize operations, and deliver high-quality care to their patients. By embracing these resources and adapting to the new landscape, HHAs can continue their mission of providing exceptional care to those in need.