Hospices Seek to Define Essential Services During Pandemic


Hospices are adapting to limitations while still supporting staff and volunteers as they try to provide essential patient services. Over 40 states nationwide have issued stay-at-home orders prohibiting nonessential travel and closing businesses to minimize the exposure and spread of COVID-19.

“Essential services are primarily being driven by the clinical needs of our patients coupled with the evolving regulations in the various care settings,” said Troy Yarborough, CEO of Hospice Care of South Carolina/Agapé Hospice. “We’ve shifted staff responsibilities, working to maintain high levels of connectivity with our existing patients and preparing for an increasing need.”

“Due to the shortage of COVID-19 tests, any clinician who presents any COVID-19 symptom must stay home for the duration of the quarantine period — whether or not they’re positive,” Terese Acampora, COO of MJHS Hospice and Home Care in New York, told Hospice news in an e-mail. “The ripple effect is that healthy staff must cover the quarantined person’s visits and be at a greater risk of exposure and stress.”

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