Coronavirus outbreak: AAH seeks HME-specific guidance

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare is asking CMS to relax Medicare requirements for chronic lung disease to better facilitate home oxygen therapy during the coronavirus outbreak.

The association is also seeking additional guidance from CMS about the potential use of telehealth to meet Medicare requirements for face-to-face documentation and ongoing medical necessity.

“The HME community has a long track record of serving patients under adverse conditions,” the association stated in a bulletin to members. “The COVID-19 outbreak poses a unique threat to the safety of individuals in our industry and additional significant challenges if individuals needing care at home grows rapidly.”

AAHomecare is also reaching out to state Medicaid authorities and the National Association of Medicaid Directors about potentially relaxing/suspending requirements related to reauthorization for supplies and rentals.

CMS, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has released more broadly applicable guidance related to working with patients and protecting healthcare personnel.

More recently, on March 10, CMS released more specific guidance to home health agencies and dialysis facilities.