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Home health and hospice updates

Our goal during the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue providing superior care to our patients in the safety of their home, where they are less susceptible to the spread of the virus. 

We continue to monitor the latest COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as federal, state and local guidance. We have implemented protocols that are consistent with these guidelines to ensure the quality and safety of the care we provide. 


Our COVID-19 response and prevention plan

Task Force

Our COVID-19 Task Force monitors guidelines daily to ensure we have the most current facts so we can provide early, accurate and effective communication to our employees and the patients we serve. The Task Force guides our response to COVID-19 and ensures we comply with public health recommendations.

Daily health screenings

Encompass Health requires that our home health and hospice employees self-monitor twice a day and report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately. We have also instituted several layers of patient screening prior to every visit and upon entering the home or facility to keep our patients and employees safe.

Use of personal protective equipment

All Encompass Health clinicians are well-trained on the use of personal protective equipment and supplied with the necessary equipment to care for patients safely. Encompass Health is following CDC guidance on the use of N95 masks, gloves, gowns and face shields.

Telehealth technology and distance visits

Encompass Health has developed strategies to provide high-quality patient care while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission by providing alternatives to traditional in-home visits. We are utilizing non-touch distance visits that are preferably performed outside of the patient’s home or facility. We also utilize technology to perform telehealth visits when a traditional in-home visit can be supplemented by a telephonic visit.

Home health and hospice referral FAQ

How can I sign physician orders?

Encompass Health offers an electronic format for order signing in light of our social distancing circumstances due to COVID-19. Please click here to sign your homecare orders electronically. 

How are your home health and hospice branches protecting patients from the spread of COVID-19?

Our goal during the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue providing superior care to our patients in the safety of their home, where they are less susceptible to the spread of the virus.

Click here to see our response and prevention plan.


Are you still able to provide home health and hospice services?

Our home health and hospice team is still available to:

  • Transition patients from the hospital to home through bedside or telephonic means
  • Support safe care delivery in the patient’s home, including patients with or recovering from COVID-19, therefore minimizing the risk of hospitalizations
  • Continue to be a resource to physicians and facilities by providing surveillance and reports on patients

Should my patient still receive home health or hospice care?

During this pandemic, Encompass Health is finding ways to best support our patients as associated risks of no longer receiving home health or hospice care can be significant.

Risks include social isolation that can lead to depression, increased risk of falls due to sarcopenia, risk of hospitalization or emergency care, and rapid disease progression.

Encompass Health is committed to keeping high-risk patients safe at home by providing the care they need to mitigate hospitalizations and emergent care visits.


Are telehealth technology and distance visits available for my patients?

Encompass Health has developed strategies to provide high-quality patient care while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission by providing alternatives to traditional in-home visits. We are utilizing non-touch distance visits that are preferably performed outside of the patient’s home or facility. We also utilize technology to perform telehealth visits when a traditional in-home visit can be supplemented by a telephonic visit.

COVID-19 information provided by the CDC

General precautions

Whether at home, in public venues or at work, each of us is exposed to a range of illnesses including colds and flu. If you’re feeling ill, stay home, and seek care if you have signs of serious illness such as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Prevention recommendations

  • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Tips on preventing the spread of infection

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer) with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough with your upper sleeve or elbow to keep germs from spreading.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, food, and/or cigarettes or vaping products.
  • If you share a room or apartment with someone who is sick, try to stay at least 6 feet away to prevent exposure through coughing.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and avoid contact with other people.

For more information on COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. 

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