POSTED ON MONDAY, June 29, 2020 

Hospices, like all healthcare organizations, have had a hard time securing the necessary personal protection equipment (PPE) to continue to provide care to their patients.  The elevated cost of this equipment is causing smaller agencies to struggle.

“The provider relief fund was helpful with the costs of dealing with COVID, including PPE funds” said Terri Walter, chief administrative officer and senior vice president of hospice provider HopeWest in Grand Junction, Colo. “Luckily, the government recognized that we’re all going to need some help or there weren’t going to be health care organizations in operation. But we did have to explain that our reach goes beyond our 13-bed inpatient facility and into the community at-large that we serve with home hospice patients and families. I don’t think they saw how widespread we are.”

When FEMA distributed PPE in March of this year, most of it went to hospitals, leaving hospices struggling to protect staff and patient populations vulnerable. The cost of PPE products went up exponentially during COVID-19, supply disparities quickly spread as quickly as the disease itself, with PPE sustainability largely dependent on a hospice organization’s ability to both source and afford it.

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