BALTIMORE, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memorandum on Thursday, September 17 that requires Nursing Homes to permit access to health care workers who are not employees of the facility if they meet certain screening requirements. This announcement mirrors guidance issued by organizations at the state and local level to allow healthcare workers to resume care for Residents in need.
In the memorandum, CMS highlights the physical and emotional toll stemming from efforts to safeguard Residents against COVID-19. While the threat of COVID-19 remains, the burden to address the physical and emotional needs of patients has increased since the Pandemic began in March.
“It has now been over six months since the Pandemic started, and for some Residents, extended social and medical isolation has resulted in behavioral issues like depression and physical complications,” said Deb Glatfelter, Manager of Regulatory Affairs at the Polaris Group, an organization that has provided staffing and consulting services to Nursing Homes for over 30 years. “It is imperative that Long Term Care Facilities allow ancillary health care workers back into their Communities to prevent complications due to lack of care or social interaction.”
The announcement from CMS echoes similar guidance issued at the state and local level. Last week, the State of Indiana issued guidance that health care workers who provide routine and preventative visits, including Dentist and Podiatry Visits, can and should resume.
“We are encouraged by recent announcements from CMS, the State of Indiana, and other organizations that recognize the risks associated with prolonging Resident care,” said Dr. Andrew Scott, an Indiana-based Podiatrist that works for Preferred Podiatry Group (PPG). “Due to the postponement of Podiatry visits, our Podiatrists have reported severe cases of hyperkeratotic and pre ulcerative lesions, as well as well as thickened, loose, or heavily incurvated nails, both of which can contribute to Resident falls and other complications.”
CMS’ memorandum is expected to be well received by families of patients and caregivers that visit Nursing Homes to deliver care.