The United Health Foundation has donated $750,000 to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and support for frontline health care workers fighting COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The funding will support the Pennsylvania Homecare Association’s Pennsylvania Foundation for Home Care and Hospice, a nonprofit organization that funds training, education and scholarship opportunities for the home health, hospice and home care workforce. The grant adds to the United Health Foundation’s support for community partners in hard-hit states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington state.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for home care, home health and hospice providers, and the individuals they care for,” said Michel Lentz, executive director, Medicare & Retirement for Pennsylvania and Delaware, UnitedHealthcare. “Our partnership with the Pennsylvania Homecare Association will help ensure these critical health care workers have the protection and support they need to provide essential care during these challenging times.”
The $750,000 donation will help with the purchase and distribution of PPE and development of an online training program for direct care workers related to providing care and best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lack of PPE has been a major challenge faced by home-based care providers and their direct care workers. A recent survey of our members showed that more than half were in great need of PPE to protect themselves and their patients in responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Teri Henning, chief executive officer, Pennsylvania Homecare Association. “The United Health Foundation’s donation is so appreciated and will help providers and direct care workers ensure that high-quality, home-based care continues to be delivered across Pennsylvania.”
To date, UnitedHealth Group has committed nearly $75 million to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities, including health care workers, hard-hit states and localities, seniors, and those experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. The company has also taken several actions to ensure customers, consumers and employees have the support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
- Providing more than $1.5 billion of support for customers in the form of credits and waived cost-sharing for health care.
- Accelerating nearly $2 billion to health care providers to support liquidity needs.
- Significantly expanding access to telehealth and redeploying 10,000 Optum clinicians to expand telehealth capabilities.
- Converting company cafeterias to provide more than 75,000 meals a week for people in need and keeping our cafe team at work.
- Pioneering a noninvasive, self-administered COVID-19 test that streamlines testing, reduces PPE usage and increases safety of health care workers.
- Simplifying access to care by reducing prior authorization requirements.
- Providing a special enrollment period for fully insured customers to allow employees who did not opt in for coverage during the regular enrollment period to get coverage.
- Launching a free nationwide emotional support line to manage the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19.