Today's COVID-19 Report: Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday, June 2 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
All-member Call - Thursday, June 4
LeadingAge Ohio is holding an all-member COVID-19 update call on Thursday, June 4 at 10:30 am. This week’s call will highlight LeadingAge Ohio members as they navigate the changing landscape of reopening, both in terms of what it means for residents and family members who come and go from residences/facilities, as well as the implications for staff.
Call in registration is as follows:
For best call quality, we encourage using your computer audio. This also allows callers to easily send questions to the speakers via the "chat" function. Questions can also be sent to the COVID19@leadingageohio.org email address.
Please click the following link to join the webinar on your computer:
Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +1 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 950 4175 0047
ODA Releases Visitation Guidance
On an all-provider call today, Director of Aging Ursel McElroy shared visitation guidelines for assisted living and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ICF-IDD), which could be used for facilities planning to allow visitation beginning June 8. The one-page document outlines both mandatory requirements, as well as those practices that are recommended as best practices, and allows facilities the flexibility to develop their own practices and approaches to allowing visitation. Members planning to open visitation should use the document as a checklist to ensure they’ve considered all of the necessary guidance prior to opening up visitation.
ODM Shares Plans for NF Incentive Payments
On an all-provider call today, Ohio Director of Medicaid Maureen Corcoran announced plans to implement two different provider incentives for nursing homes during the pandemic. The first would amount to a $10 per day boost to a nursing home’s Medicaid per diem payment in April, if a nursing home completed a self-assessment using the infection control self-assessment form, as well as signing an attestation.
The second incentive would provide another boost to the Medicaid per diem payment to any nursing home that achieves zero deficiencies on their CMS/ODH infection control survey of a scope or severity not greater than F-level, on the infection control surveys.
LeadingAge Ohio is working to confirm further details about these incentive payments, and will provide additional information in future daily reports.
Traveling and Social Gathering Risk Mitigation Tool
Several weeks ago, a group of LeadingAge Ohio members volunteered to assist in the creation of a tool that will help colleagues, team members, employees, and staff make good decisions regarding travel and social gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Traveling and Social Gathering Risk Mitigation document is intended to help your team members make informed decisions about participating in the re-opening of the economy. The tool is available in Word should you like to customize it to reflect community social gatherings you know are particularly relevant for your organizations (e.g. a county fair, etc.). The PDF document is available with our LeadingAge Ohio logo, if you prefer to use as is.
A huge thank you to those who assisted in this work:
Kara Allread, SVP & CAO, Brethren Retirement Community
Dawn Barhorst, Vice President-Human Resources, Graceworks Lutheran Services
Lisa Cecil, Vice President Health Services, Christian Village Communities
Michelle Kiner, Director of Nursing, Mohun Health Center
Kristi Strawser, Executive Director, State of the Heart Care
Ginny Uehlin, Vice President of Residential Healthcare, Episcopal Retirement Services
Curt Walter, Administrator, Apostolic Christian Village
We trust you will find these resources useful for assisting your team members engage in the re-opening of the Ohio economy.
LeadingAge Reacts to CMS Enforcement Memo
As reported in yesterday's report, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Studies (CMS) released a memo that includes survey activities, enhanced infection control-related enforcement, and quality improvement activities in nursing homes.
LeadingAge’s statement was released almost immediately. LeadingAge President/CEO Katie Smith Sloan stated:
"Today’s data are a grim reminder of a slow motion tragedy that could have been averted if our federal and state governments had stepped up to provide leadership, coordination and funds that nursing homes need to save lives.”
CMS cited 60,000 infections and 26,000 deaths in nursing homes to justify increased civil monetary penalties for nursing homes with a pattern of infection control deficiencies. CMS will begin posting the still-incomplete data to Nursing Home Compare this Thursday and update it monthly.
Provider Relief Funds Update - Submit Info by June 3 to Remain Eligible
Although the latest Health & Human Services (HHS) FAQs do not shed additional light on the question of whether providers must attest to the General Distribution Funds they have received by June 3 or 90 days after receiving the payment, HHS did slightly change the language on the website related to the June 3 deadline.
This language now implies that those providers who did not receive a second payment from the $50 billion General Distribution must submit their attestation to HHS through the Attestation Portal and financial information through the General Distribution portal by June 3 to remain eligible for the second payment. Without further clarification, we advise all Medicare providers who did not receive a second payment from the General Distribution tranche to submit their attestation and financial information by Wednesday, June 3.
It should be noted that all the Provider Relief Fund terms and conditions documents have been updated to say providers have 90 days to attest to the terms and conditions or reject the funds. LeadingAge believes this continues to apply to all other circumstances except the situation outlined above where the provider did not receive a second General Distribution payment.
LeadingAge will continue to seek additional clarification from HHS on this matter and will let members know if it receives any information that is contrary to this advice.
LeadingAge Comments on Interim Final Rule for Home Health, Hospice
LeadingAge submitted comments on the hospice and home health provisions of the April 6 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Interim Final Rule (IFR). LeadingAge comments support telehealth expansions during the public health emergency and recommend making some of the provisions permanent.
LeadingAge recommended making advance care planning audio-only communication permanent and that CMS permanently allow flexibility for routine home care hospice to be delivered via telecommunication during any future emergency. LeadingAge also made several recommendations and suggestions regarding home health flexibilities, noting that it encourages CMS to work with Congress to allow home health agencies to be reimbursed for telehealth – as LeadingAge is advocating with Congress.
New QuickCast on Nursing Home Reopening Guidance
Yesterday a new QuickCast was posted in the LeadingAge Learning Hub titled Reopening Considerations for Nursing Homes. The 18-minute QuickCast features LeadingAge's Janine Finck-Boyle and Jody Eyigor reviewing guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on reopening nursing homes and the important factors nursing homes should consider. Additional QuickCasts are in the works for affordable housing and life plan community settings.
LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – June 2, 2020
LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured articles and tools, including: The Coronavirus May Never Go Away, Can Contact Tracing Work in the U.S.?, COVID-19 Testing: More Effective Than Symptom Screening.
Check out the full report here.
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. LeadingAge is continuing its daily calls for all members. To participate in these daily online updates, members should register at here.