Home Health

CMS’ proposal to extend virtual supervisory visits

CMS has recognized the ways that the pandemic has influenced home health aide training and use and is proposing to extend the waiver allowing virtual supervisory visits for aides.

The virtual option should be rare, CMS notes in the proposed rule, with an agency limited to two virtual supervisory assessments during a 60-day period. If the supervisor identifies an area of concern, agencies must make an on-site in-person visit to observe and assess the aide.

“The ability to perform some supervisory visits virtually will assist as COVID-19 still hinders some onsite visits, due to patient preference to not have staff in the home,” explains Kimberly Skehan, RN, MSN, HCS-D, COS-C, director of compliance, regulatory and quality at SimiTree Healthcare Consulting in Hamden, Conn. “We believe it is a win, as a first step in relieving some regulatory requirements while still ensuring appropriate oversight of the home health aide competencies and plan of care.”