Joe Biden’s pledge to deliver 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first 100 days won’t be easy as questions persist concerning how much vaccine states will receive and when, which groups get priority vaccination status and other challenges.
Still, Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily that he and his organization remain hopeful that the Biden administration will address the vaccination needs of home care workers and their patients.
“While some states are moving forward with vaccinating seniors and essential workers, the home care and hospice staffs on the front lines are still facing difficulties in getting vaccines, with every locale seeming to have different degrees of success,” Dombi said. “We have recommended to CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] that direct distribution be arranged so that home care and hospice providers can take steps to directly vaccinate their staffs.”
Then there are the “12 million highly vulnerable homebound patients in need of vaccinations,” Dombi said. “Both the outgoing and incoming administrations have been made aware of this need. We earnestly hope that the new administration will take immediate steps to get vaccines to these individuals.”
Looking ahead, Dombi expressed optimism in the willingness of Biden, who he considers “pro-home care,” to support the field’s interest. During the campaign, “President Biden advanced an expansion of home- and community-based services with $755 billion in supports,” Dombi said. “Beyond that plan, we would expect that the administration will strongly support the creation of community-based care options for patients through Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. This could include expansion of the Hospital at Home demonstration program and the establishment of a Skilled Nursing Facility at Home benefit option in Medicare. We have designed such a program that will significantly increase care options for individuals leaving the hospital and reduce Medicare spending as well.”