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05/04/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Monday, May 4, 2020

Monday, May 4, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Monday, May 4 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Rule: CDC Reporting and the NHSN System

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new rule, 42 CFR §483.80 Infection Control of the Requirements of Participation (RoPs), to require long-term care facilities, specifically skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities, to report incidences and data related to COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rule states that nursing homes should report data at least weekly, or more frequently if required. The module allows for daily reporting.

The rule calls for reporting of the following data to CDC: suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infections among residents and staff; total deaths and deaths related to COVID-19 infection, including both resident and staff deaths; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hand hygiene supplies; ventilator capacity and supplies; resident beds and census; resident access to testing; and staffing shortages.

The rule is for available on the Federal Register for review. LeadingAge provided a summary article which discusses the rule and provides more information about implications for members.

The reporting requirements will be effective immediately upon publishing in the Federal Register, scheduled for May 8. LeadingAge asked CMS for a grace period while providers work to complete enrollment and familiarize themselves with the new module. CMS has not commented as of yet. 

NHSN will be hosting 2 additional training sessions. These training sessions will be a repeat of the recorded training that took place this week, which many had difficulty attending. Trainings will eventually be posted to the NHSN website, though this could take a number of weeks, so it’s best to get on one of these training sessions.

Slide decks and the live training sessions are available here: https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/ltc/covid19/index.html

Monday, May 4, 2:00pm EST – Enrollment Process

Tuesday, May 5, 3:00pm EST – Reporting Module

LeadingAge Ohio will continue to report information about the new rules and continue to offer guidance and support to members. Large corporations must register each facility. Corporate offices can access multiple facilities in the group users function. One person can also be set up as the “administrator” for all facilities.

If you don’t know if your facility is already enrolled or have questions, email NHSN at nhsn@cdc.gov.

Medicare Advantage Plans have New COVID-19 Coverage Requirements from CMS

In addition to COVID-19 testing with no co-pays, Medicare Advantage Plans are required to cover Medicare Part A & B services and their plan supplemental benefits even when provided by out of network or non-contracted providers during the COVID-19 emergency period. When services are provided by those out of network providers, beneficiaries co-pays and co-insurance must be the same as it would be if they received the service from an in-network provider.

An article on additional requirements and new flexibilities under Medicare Advantage includes info on allowing plans to opt to permit pharmacies to dispense more than 14-day supply of Part D drugs to long term care facilities.

Members are urged to check in with each plan about their policies as there is a lot of variability on what flexibilities plans are adopting.

Paycheck Protection Program Plans for Affordable Housing

Surprisingly, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is saying that HUD-assisted housing providers are not eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans; the rationale is that they are housing providers. Still, several HUD-assisted housing providers have already received PPP loans. 

HUD says they are taking steps to remove HUD regulatory barriers for affordable housing communities seeking PPP loans, but defers to SBA to straighten out the problem. Some members are hearing from federal agencies and public discussion that they may not be eligible for the loans. LeadingAge sent this letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

New HUD FAQs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) updated its FAQs for housing providers dealing with COVID-19. The new information covers a variety of questions related to mortgage relief requirements, allowable use of project funds, and resources for food-insecure older adults in affordable housing communities, as well as limited insight into SBA loans for housing providers.

Despite urgent requests from LeadingAge and our members, the new FAQs do not allow additional flexibility or subsidy for extended vacancies.

Stay Safe Ohio Order

On Friday, Governor DeWine discussed the new Stay Safe Ohio Order - essentially a new stay at home order, except the new order reopens businesses with exceptions and details COVID-19 prevention requirements for operating businesses.

A copy of the order is attached for members to review. 

COVID-19 and Medication Management: Remedi's Complimentary Webinar for LeadingAge Ohio Members

LeadingAge Ohio associate firm Remedi is offering a complimentary webinar for LeadingAge Ohio members. 

Remedi’s VP of Education, William Vaughan, BSN, RN, and Director of Consulting Services, Erin Foti, PharmD, BCGP, will be hosting a complimentary webinar on six occasions this week. For complete details on this webinars, please click here.

Despite the unprecedented challenges facing long-term care providers, resident safety dictates that the core functions surrounding medication management and pharmacy services remain a priority. The 30-minute webinars will share best practices related to drug management, medication pass optimization, consultant pharmacist collaboration, and regulatory compliance.

Link-age Resource: Virtual Activities for Residents

LeadingAge Ohio partner Link-age has been distributing lists of virtual activities that can help during these timess of restricted visitation. The lists include virtual museum tours, educational activities, sports, theater, and more. 

The full list of virtual activities, including the newest list, are available here:

Ohio Statistics: 19,914 Cases, 1,038 Deaths

There are 19,914 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,038 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,769 people have been hospitalized, including 1,078 admissions to intensive care units. 

In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices.

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.