Newark – Responding to concerns from families relying on in-home health aides to look after their elderly or disable loved ones, the Division of Consumer Affairs today took steps to limit the number of health care providers required to visit patient homes on a routine basis.
In a temporary rule waiver adopted today, the Division is now allowing supervising nurses to conduct required plan-of-care evaluations by phone or video-chat instead of in person. The change guards against the spread of COVID-19 from healthcare workers to elderly and medically fragile individuals by making in-person supervisory visits, which typically occur at least every 60 days, unnecessary.
“Reducing in-person contacts that might transmit COVID-19 is especially important for people with a higher risk of complications,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Today we are taking steps to protect some of the most vulnerable among us by reducing the chances they will come into contact with someone carrying the coronavirus.”
“We empathize with families who are worried about the risk this deadly disease poses to their loved ones,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “We are doing all we can to mitigate that risk while continuing to uphold the highest standards of care for elderly and disabled individuals receiving in-home care.”
The rule waiver, which takes effect immediately, will remain in place throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency, and is consistent with a series of Executive Orders issued by Governor Phil Murphy to reduce the spread of the disease.