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Ohio governor asked to help home health aides amidst coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 08:57:10-04

CLEVELAND — Ohio's home health care aides and hospice workers are "at a breaking point" amid the coronavirus pandemic and say that additional resources are needed to avert the "collapse" of an industry caring for thousands who rely on it for in-home care.

In a letter sent to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Home Care and Hospice Association is warning that 600 home care and hospice providers in Ohio are in need of "additional assistance" that, left without, will lead to the "collapse" of the Medicaid home care program in Ohio.

The association also raises the concern that "tens of thousands of vulnerable Ohioans could be discharged home care and forced to go to the hospital."

The concerns echo those raised by a Cleveland family currently receiving home care and hospice service.

"My 86-year-old mother relies on home care," said the woman's son, who said her provider says it does not have enough protective equipment.

As a result, he says, "registered nurses are no longer coming to the home but instead home health care aides," and he's fearful that could end.

The Ohio Nurses Association is asking the Governor to "prioritize resources for the purchase and acquisition of Personal Protective Equipment" such as mask, gloves and gowns.

In addition, it is seeking permission to perform in-home testing for COVID-19 to prevent leaving the home and "significantly higher risk of infection."

RELATED: Health professionals and first responders plead for more personal protective equipment

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