MDHHS Updates Testing & Direct Care Worker Wage Increase FAQs
This afternoon, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) released updated FAQ Documents including Skilled Nursing Facility COVID-19 Testing, Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Testing Financial Implications, and Skilled Nursing Facility COVID-10 Response: Direct Care Worker Wage Increase.
The Testing FAQs document provides guidance on retesting residents or staff members who have tested positive, clarification that allows facilities to bill MDHHS directly for residents covered by a Medicare A stay, along with a full section of new Q&A questions. The Testing Financial Implications updates to state reimbursement for testing will be at the full lab cost for private pay residents, residents under a Medicare Part A stay and staff tests.
The Direct Care Worker Wage Increase FAQs has been updated to clarify the wage level basis, with any premium pay being provided to these worker as of June 30, 2020 included as the base wage.
The updated information on each of these documents has been highlighted for ease of use. In addition, all three documents have been updated on the COVID-19 Nursing Home Plan webpage.
Action Needed for Potential Assisted Living Setting HHS Funding
AHCA/NCAL has been advocating for funding allocations for private pay assisting living providers out of the US Health & Human Services (HHS) provider fund. A distribution is not fully confirmed, nor are the details available yet as to how these funds might be dispersed. AHCA/NCAL is asking for your assistance to provide requested data to HHS as they continue to work towards the provision of funding.
A secure data collection portal is being established to collect the data requested by HHS. A link to access the portal will be shared as soon as it is available. As we have a very tight window to report (By July 31, 2020) we request that you begin gathering the following data for submission:
- Name of licensed/registered/certified assisted living and/or memory care community
- Name of entity that holds the license/registration/certification
- Community license/registration/certification number (some states may not provide a number)
- Corresponding Tax Identification Number (TIN)
- Taxpayer ID Number for the filing company
- Contact information for the person submitting data
- Include licensed assisted living that is part of a CCRC--even if the skilled nursing facility associated has already received funding from the Provider Relief Fund
We will keep you informed as soon as the portal is functional and as additional information becomes available.
HHS Extends Public Health Emergencies and 1135 Waivers
Late last week, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar authorized an extension of the public health emergency for an additional 90 days. The extension ensures that the COVID-19 related regulatory and reimbursement blanket waivers are extended. This includes waivers of staff training requirements, the 3-day stay and spell of illness.
Provider Reporting Requirements for Relief Funds
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a notice regarding more detail on Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting guidance and materials to be released on August 17, 2020. HHS stated in a two-page document, the reporting requirements included in the terms and conditions long-term care and other healthcare providers had to agree to as part of the funding award process.
HHS noted that the pending instructions will provide directions on reporting obligations applicable to any provider that received a payment from the PRF distributions, including the initial and additional Medicare distributions, Medicaid, dental and Children's Health Insurance Program distributions, skilled nursing facility distributions and high impact area distributions, among others. The reports will let providers demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions, including use of funds for allowable purposes, for each PRF payment. In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will present webinars that help recipients better understand reporting requirements.
HHS also shared that all recipients must report on their 2020 expenditures by February 15, 2021. A data collection template with the necessary data elements will also be available through the HRSA website by August 17, 2020.
SNF QRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is Available
The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) Tip Sheet is now available. This tip sheet is designed to assist SNF providers in understanding the status of the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Also provided is practical guidance to address SNF quality data submission requirements starting July 1, 2020, now that the temporary SNF QRP exemptions from the COVID-19 PHE have ended.
Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Diabetes: The Importance of Prevention, Management, and Support
The Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) group will hold a call Tuesday, July 28, 2020, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). During this COCA Call, presenters will focus on current information about the impact and increased risk for COVID-19 complications in people with diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention, management, and support.
For more information, please visit: COCA Calls/Webinars.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
July 27, 2020