Medical Surge and the Role of Home Health and Hospice Agencies   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Overview: "Millions of patients across the country receive care through Medicare-certified home health agencies and hospices each year. Mostly comprised of older adults who frequently have multiple medical conditions and often have lower household incomes, home health and hospice patients are among the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. Unlike other recipients of healthcare services, the care is delivered to the home health or hospice patient; the patient does not travel to receive care. Emergency planning for home health and hospice agencies must account for a continually changing patient population and care setting; unique situations encountered in each care setting; the routes staff must travel to safely and efficiently reach their patients; and the business continuity of their administrative offices. [...] This study does not provide conclusive statements on emergency management that are generalizable to all Medicare-certified home health and hospice agencies. Rather, the project team used this exploratory study to learn more about the role of home health and hospice agencies in emergency response and to inform future efforts from ASPR [Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response] TRACIE [Technical Resources, Assistance Center and Information Exchange]. These findings and recommendations are a first step toward greater emergency management awareness and engagement, particularly among home health and hospice agencies and their community partners, including hospitals, public health, emergency management, emergency medical services, and other healthcare providers and settings."

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Department of Health and Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/
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