Today's COVID-19 Report: Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Wednesday, June 24 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mandatory PPE Survey Launches Today
The joint survey on personal protective equipment (PPE) created by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has undergone some updates, and several questions have been changed or removed.
Providers have been asked to fill out a survey for each ODH ID. If a single facility has a Residential Care section and a Skilled Nursing section, facilities have been asked to provide each ODH ID with the data recorded for separate entity.
The new survey link is available here - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZYJZG6P
The survey is mandatory for three days, with responses due by 10:00 p.m. on June 24 (today), June 25, and June 26. This survey does not replace the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandatory survey each nursing home should be filling out per QSO 20-29-NH.
ODH, ODM Clarify Relief Payments, Testing Protocols
On Tuesday, June 23, the Ohio Departments of Health (ODH) and Medicaid (ODM) hosted a webinar which updated nursing homes on the latest on Ohio’s testing plan facilitated by the Ohio National Guard. While much of the webinar reviewed previous content, a few new pieces of information were shared, including:
- Ohio hospitals have been asked to create their own caches of PPE, specifically dedicated to supporting nursing homes, assisted living, and other congregate settings in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. These caches do not replace the nursing home’s own supplies and responsibility to build its own stockpile of PPE for emergencies.
- In response to questions about nursing homes conducting their own testing, ODM clarified that nursing homes that completed testing on or after May 6 but before July 17 could submit a letter on letterhead including summary-level results of the testing. Previously, ODH had provided the start-date but the end-date was new. The facility who completes their own testing or has staff that were unable to test on the day the Ohio National Guard did testing, must submit a confirmation letter ODH confirming all those staff were tested and their results. ODH does not want the individual test results, but rather the list of staff and the summary results on a letterhead document.
- Regarding relief payments, Administration officials noted that the previously-mentioned $25 million in relief payments to Ohio nursing homes would not be granted based on an attestation of completing an infection control self-assessment. Rather, the entire amount would be granted directly to nursing homes based on their results from the focused infection control surveys, as previously described. Grants would be made later in the summer, calculated based on April Medicaid days and would include Medicaid managed care days in the calculation.
- ODH stated that overall the focused infection control surveys have gone well. Of the surveys completed, three facilities had a citation at a scope and severity level of D, twelve at E, eighteen at F, one at J, and one at a scope and severity of L.
- ODH stated that they would be starting standard surveys for all provider types in July. ODH will begin with those that are overdue by 15.9 months or more, have a history of non-compliance at G or higher for abuse or neglect, infection control, transfer and discharge violations, insufficient staffing, and other quality of care areas. These surveys are in addition to the immediate jeopardy or actual harm complaint or revisit to confirm the removal of the IJ. Focused infection control surveys and initial certification surveys will also be conducted. ODH reminded facilities to maintain a list of staff and resident testing as this information would be reviewed at subsequent surveys. ODH is working with CMS to refine the survey process to identify the items that are able to be conducted off-site during this pandemic time.
As of late last week, the Ohio National Guard had visited nearly 200 nursing homes to conduct testing, and the Administration confirmed that the pace of testing would increase. To date, no plans have been shared related to testing assisted living or testing requirements subsequent to this baseline phase.
ODM: Hospice, NF Emergency Rule Summary and Bed-hold Question
BLTSS shared a summary of emergency rules for nursing facilities and hospice providers. This is a high-level summary, so please refer to the emergency rule itself by searching by rule number on the Rulewatch website for a comprehensive review of the changes that were made. Questions can be directed to the ODM NFPolicy, PASRR, or Hospice mailboxes.
Additionally, ODM shared that if a resident is needing bed-hold days in excess of the previous 30-day limit due to COVID, the NF should update the bed-hold notice for the resident so they know the number of bed-hold days used as compared to the revised 60-day limit. Nothing additional will be needed when billing the extra bed-hold days, but the NF is encouraged to maintain any related documentation to support the billing of bed-hold days in excess of the previous 30-day limit.
HCIC Billing Instructions
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) recently shared HCIC billing instructions, which were also sent Tuesday to the twelve HCICs approved to date by ODH and ODM. The last page of the guidance provides helpful resources, should providers have any related questions.
To date, no HCICs have yet been approved in Zone 2 (central Ohio), while at least one LeadingAge Ohio member is serving as an HCIC in Zone 1 (North-Cleveland and Toledo) and another in Zone 3 (South-Cincinnati).
Questions specific to HCICs can be directed to Julie Evers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow’s Activity Professionals Networking Call
Activity professionals within the LeadingAge Ohio membership are continuing to come together to offer support, share ideas, and discuss resources in the midst of current COVID-19 restrictions. This group meets bi-weekly through a Zoom platform hosted by Kendal at Oberlin Director of Creative Arts Therapy/Dementia Specialist Michele Tarsitano-Amato.
The next call is scheduled for tomorrow, June 25, at 12:30 PM.
Zoom Fellowship Meeting for Activity Professionals
Thursday, June 25 from 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
Host: CreativeArtsKendal@gmail.com is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join the Zoom Meeting online.
Meeting ID: 979 1175 8968
Affordable Housing Call Reviews Polling Results on Staff Travel, Financial Impact and More
In this morning’s weekly Housing Happenings call, LeadingAge staff reviewed poll results taken as part of the daily LeadingAge member calls over the past month on issues such as visitor restrictions, move-ins, financial burden of COVID-19 on providers and insight on staff travel considerations.
Results included that 80% of providers who participated in the surveys indicated that COVID-19 related expenses represent a cost burden to their organization and stated that there is growing concern over the number of non-emergency work orders that are piling up in communities. The majority of providers are evaluating staff travel on a case by case basis as summer kicks into full swing.
To assist in travel decision-making, a LeadingAge Ohio task force created a tool for members on traveling and social gathering risk mitigation. Members can share this tool (Traveling and Social Gathering Risk Mitigation PDF ) with staff as summer travel plans are considered, or customize the tool to better fit the need of the organization (Traveling and Social Gathering Risk Mitigation - Word format ). In addition, LeadingAge released a re-opening quickcast for housing providers available on the Learning Hub and provided insight into the HUD NSPIRE Demonstration Discussion with Housing Stakeholders.
PPE Workshops Tomorrow: PPE in Nursing Homes and PPE Strategies
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) shared two personal protective equipment (PPE)-focused workshops with LeadingAge Ohio today. Both of the workshops take place tomorrow.
IPRO QIN-QIO Workshop
June 25 @ 10:30-11:00 AM
The IPRO QIN-QIO Nursing Home Team will share 10 vital tips for effective PPE use. Speakers will share tips based on their encounters with nursing homes since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Employ strategies for PPE use, re-use, and reminders
- Relate issues highlighted by surveyors to practical day to day staff activities
- Consider how PPE use affects the experience of people with dementia
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategies
National Nursing Home Training
June 25 @ 4:00-5:00 PM
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Quality Improvement Organization Program will describe:
- Why using PPE is necessary for infection prevention
- How to properly use PPE
- How to use an audit tool for tracking compliance
- Promising practices & strategies for PPE supply and use
LeadingAge Need to Know: COVID-19 – June 24, 2020
LeadingAge shares the latest coronavirus news and resources with members twice each weekday. This morning's update featured a message from LeadingAge President/CEO Katie Smith Sloan and a recap of LeadingAge's National Day of Action.
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.