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Today's COVID-19 Report: Friday, May 29, 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Friday, May 29 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assisted Living to Begin Visitation on June 8 

As announced yesterday by Governor DeWine, Ohio will begin allowing some assisted living facilities to begin outdoor visitation on June 8. Participating facilities will be required to follow a set of guidelines developed by LeadingAge Ohio and other provider associations, as described in the press conference yesterday. 

The guidelines lay out a plan that includes mandatory use of masks and social distancing, as well as adequate staffing/volunteers in the facility to facilitate the visitation process. The guidelines also mandate a lack of COVID-19 positive residents and staff. This is great news for families and residents of assisted living, who have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to begin safe visitation again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of this time, visitation is still prohibited in Ohio nursing homes. On a Friday morning call, the Ohio Department of Aging clarified that for assisted living that are located in the same building as nursing homes will need to evaluate whether they can establish a process that allows assisted living visitation without exposing nursing home residents to risk. This will depend on site layout and other details that a provider will need to consider as they develop their own policy.  

LeadingAge Ohio will continue work with the Administration on further re-openings and protections for other long-term care service lines. 

Chronic Pain Self-Management Grants Available: Due June 10

The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) has shared a State Opioid Response (SOR) funded grant opportunity for remote implementation of the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP). Through this funding opportunity, ODA intends to award up to 25 grants to community-based organizations to implement CPSMP remotely and if applicable, cross-train current Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) leaders. All grant-funded activities must be completed on or before September 29, 2020.

At this time, the grants are available only to current CDSMP Master Trainers or leaders, which limits the pool of potential applicants.

For additional details, members can review the grant announcement and full request for proposal (RFP). For grant consideration, applicants must complete and submit a project plan proposal on or before 5:00 pm on June 10, 2020. Applicants and/or interested parties may contact Lisa Wolfe at with questions related to this grant opportunity.

House Passes Paycheck Protection Bill

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House passed by a vote of 417-1 a bill that would modify the Paycheck Protection Program loans by extending the application deadline. This would allow loan funds to be used over a longer period and allow more funds to be used for non-payroll costs.

LeadingAge is unsure what the Senate will do, but there is clear bipartisan support for this bill. LeadingAge shared an overview of the bill, and will continue to monitor and keep members updated.

NHSN Enrollment & Reporting

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reached out to LeadingAge yesterday regarding adding some user support to the NHSN system. CDC identified that a number of providers are having trouble accessing the COVID-19 module for the enrolled facility because the provider’s email in NHSN differs from the provider’s email in SAMS.

The provider will need to ensure the emails match, beginning with NHSN and followed by SAMS. Once the emails match, the provider will be able to accept the Agreement to Consent and Participate for the facility and move forward with reporting. CDC notes that it takes about 48 hours for an email update to take effect in SAMS.

CDC also recommends that users review the enrollment and reporting slide decks on the NHSN site to ensure all steps have been followed, including checking internet and email settings for proper systems communications.

Hospice VBID Demonstration is Full Speed Ahead  

The CMS/CMMI Hospice Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) demonstration project is moving forward, CMS shared yesterday. The VBID will test the efficacy of hospice services being included as part of a Medicare Advantage benefit, rather than a carve-out. . 

LeadingAge learned this through a letter to LeadingAge President/CEO Katie Smith Sloan yesterday from CMS Administrator Seema Verma in response to a letter LeadingAge sent at the end of April. LeadingAge had suggested a delay because of the need to care for people with COVID-19. CMS stated it is “more important than ever to continue testing” value based models. 

All-member Call Recap 

LeadingAge Ohio held an all-member COVID-19 update call yesterday, Thursday, May 28.

The call's focus was on the DeWine Administration's plans to deploy the National Guard to support testing of staff and selected residents in long-term care facilities affected by COVID-19. Participants were joined by representatives from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), including Dr. Mary Applegate, Medical Director at ODM, Rebecca Sandholdt, Chief of the Bureau of Survey & Certification at ODH, and James Hodge, Chief of the Bureau of Regulatory Operations at ODH.

The group described not only the plans for testing, but also the support that would be provided by CCURT (Congregate Care Unified Response Team), which will help facilities in navigating their post-testing challenges, including staffing and cohorting residents.  

You can listen to the webinar here. 

COHHIO Call with Senator Brown

The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) has invited LeadingAge Ohio members to join COHHIO and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in a webinar discussion on Wednesday, June 3 at 10:00 am to discuss the impact of the coronavirus and the importance of supporting tenants who are struggling to maintain their housing during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, COHHIO hosted a roundtable discussion with Senator Rob Portman, who sponsored the Eviction Crisis Act in December. Senator Brown is the lead sponsor of the new Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act (S. 3685) in the U.S. Senate. Senators Portman and Brown are key senators who could help forge a bipartisan solution for Congress to enact emergency rental assistance for unemployed tenants.

COHHIO looks forward to a lively discussion with Senator Brown on the work he is doing to prevent an epidemic of eviction and homelessness during the coronavirus crisis and hopes LeadingAge Ohio members will join the call. 

Registration is available here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing further information.

 Linkage                    Buerger

Ohio Statistics: 33,915 Cases, 2,098 Deaths

There are 33,915 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,098 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 5,811 people have been hospitalized, including 1,516 admissions to intensive care units. 

In-depth data can be accessed by visiting


Please send all questions to Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members.  To participate in these daily online updates, members should register at here.  


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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.