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COVID-19 Household Checklist

Friday, May 1, 2020 @ 09:05 AM  posted by jbuytaert

As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak.

Stay informed and in touch
  • Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials.
  • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes.
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
Prepare for possible illness
Take everyday preventative steps
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed or for potential changes at your workplace.
  • How to Protect Yourself Continue Reading…

Caring for Someone Sick at Home

Monday, April 27, 2020 @ 08:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Advice for Caregivers

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings, follow this advice to protect yourself and others. Learn what to do when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or when someone has been diagnosed with the virus. This information also pertains to people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms.

*Note: Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, or diabetes, are at higher risk for developing more severe illness from COVID-19. People at higher risk of severe illness should call their doctor as soon as symptoms start.

Provide support and help cover basic needs

  • Help the person who is sick follow their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine.
    • For most people, symptoms last a few days and people feel better after a week.
  • See if over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, help the person feel better.
  • Make sure the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids and rests.
  • Help them with grocery shopping, filling prescriptions, and getting other items they may need. Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible.
  • Take care of their pet(s), and limit contact between the person who is sick and their pet(s) when possible.

Watch for warning signs

  • Have their doctor’s phone number on hand.
  • Call their doctor if the person keeps getting sicker. For medical emergencies, call 911 and tell the dispatcher that the person has or might have COVID-19.

People who have emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should  call 911 right away. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face

*This is not every emergency symptom or sign.

Protect yourself when caring for someone who is sick Continue Reading…

Courtesy of The Pulmonary Fibrosis News 4/7/2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived all requirements for in-person testing and signature at delivery for supplemental oxygen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is urging patients, healthcare providers, and oxygen suppliers to comply with the new CMS guidelines, in order to protect patients with lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis (PF), while ensuring that they receive the care and supplies they need at home.

“These CMS rule adjustments will allow patients to remain as safe as possible and avoid exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, while continuing to receive lifesaving oxygen,” William T. Schmidt, PFF president and CEO, said in a press release. “We were proud to lead several national healthcare organizations in advocating for public policies that will improve the lives of our patients and caregivers.”

PF causes progressive scarring of the lungs, a process that causes lung tissue to become stiff, affecting lung function, and leading to deficient oxygen transport into the bloodstream. Low levels of oxygen are responsible for characteristic symptoms of the disease, including shortness of breath, persistent dry cough, and fatigue.

Oxygen therapy is prescribed to many PF patients, as it helps increase blood oxygen levels and improves breathing.

Oxygen is typically administered by a thin tube that is placed in the nostrils, and attached to a tank filled with pure oxygen. Commonly, patients use a large tank or cylinder at home. Continue Reading…

Telemedicine Modifications Federally Approved

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 07:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Access to telemedicine services increased

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has expanded access to telemedicine to ensure the 1.1 million Minnesotans covered by Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare do not lose access to care and services, including mental health and substance use disorder coverage, during the pandemic.

DHS has received federal approval to temporarily ease certain limits in existing law for receiving needed care and services through telephone and video visits that can instead be provided safely and effectively without an in-person face-to-face visit by:

  • Expanding the definition of telemedicine to include telephone calls so providers who have a telemedicine agreement in place with DHS can serve patients through telephone or tele-video visits.
  • Allowing a provider’s first visit with a patient to be conducted over the phone.
  • Allowing Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare enrollees to have more than three telemedicine visits in a week.
  • Allowing DHS-contracted managed care plans to follow these same policies.

All telemedicine changes are effective Mar. 19, 2020.

DHS received Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approval for temporarily expanding the providers that may deliver services using telemedicine, including many mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. This approval also applies to equivalent tribal providers. See the Temporary coverage of telemedicine visits for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health providers webpage for information about telemedicine for mental health and SUD.

DHS also received temporary approval to allow a telemedicine service to satisfy the face-to-face requirement under the encounter payment methods for Indian Health Service, Tribal 638 clinic, Federally Qualified Health Center, and Rural Health Clinic services. If a service would have received an encounter payment if performed in person, the same service will receive an encounter payment if performed via telemedicine, including telephone and televideo as long as all of the applicable telemedicine requirements are met.

See the waivers and modifications webpage or the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section of the MHCP Provider Manual for more information about requirements that have been waived or modified so together we can continue to provide essential programs and services to Minnesotans safely and without undue delay during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pulse Oximetry at Home

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 07:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Patricia B. Koff, MEd, RRT, Affiliate Faculty member, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado
Courtesy of Nonin Medical

The use of pulse oximetry at home has expanded over the past twenty years and is expected to be one of the major growth areas in home monitoring during the next decade. Initial use at home in the early 1990′s focused on continuous monitoring with home mechanical ventilation and sleep studies. Intermittent spot-check use at home has become more common in recent years with conditions such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and others requiring long-term oxygen therapy. Self-monitoring enables patients to become more active participants in their health care.

To read the complete article, please click on the link below:

https://www.nonin.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/M-1910-Koff-Pulse-Oximetry-White-Paper.pdf