HHS Updates FAQs with Medicaid, Cost Report and CHOW Information
Late yesterday, August 11, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) changed terminology describing various allocations and added FAQs on availability of Medicaid awards.
HHS has renamed the first two tranches "Phase 1 - General Distribution" and has renamed what had been the Medicaid tranche "Phase 2 - General Distribution." Therefore, future HHS notices on what were referred to as "Tranche 1" and/or "Tranche 2" will be described as "Phase 1 - General Distribution." The Medicaid, CHIP, and Dental Allocation now will be described as "Phase 2 - General Distribution."
Phase 2 - General Distribution Availability
Initially, HHS indicated that providers who received a Phase 1 - General Distribution were not eligible for a Phase 2 - General Distribution. Yesterday, HHS reversed its position in the following FAQ:
"Medicaid and CHIP Providers who have received a payment under Phase 1 of the General Distribution are no longer prohibited from submitting an application under Phase 2 of the General Distribution. Providers who received a previous Phase 1 - General Distribution payment are eligible to apply and, if they have not yet received a payment that is approximately 2% of annual revenue from patient care, may receive additional funds (see pages 35-36)."
In order to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution funds, providers who received a Phase 1 - General Distribution payment that was less than 2% of revenue from patient care must meet the revised eligibility requirements for the Phase 2 - General Distribution and follow the application instructions available for the distribution.
Applicants should use the Provider Relief Fund Application and Attestation Portal to apply for funds. Payments received as part of the Phase 1 - General Distribution will be taken into account when determining payment amounts for the Phase 2 - General Distribution. Finally, if you were eligible for the Phase 1 - General Distribution and rejected the payment, you are now eligible to apply for Phase 2 - General Distribution payment that is approximately 2% of revenue from patient care.
Change of Ownership (CHOW) Update
The Phase 2 - General Distribution web portal for Medicaid, CHOW, and Phase 1 - General Distribution awardees who missed the June 3 cut off for additional funding is up but still is not active. AHCA/NCAL and HCAM will provide information as soon as the portal is operational.
View the updated FAQs.
MDHHS Provides Guidance on POC COVID Testing
This afternoon, Michigan Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun shared guidance to a small group of providers regarding the use of Point of Care COVID-19 antigen testing units. Dr. Marty Soehnlen, Director Michigan Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) Infectious Disease Division joined Dr. Khaldun sharing information regarding the types of COVID testing available. The two discussed the pro's and con's of the antigen testing units being distributed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to nursing facilities.
Dr. Khaldun shared antigen testing can be a very useful tool in the nursing facility setting to quickly confirm a positive result in a setting with other confirmed positives. In addition, antigen testing can be used as an initial test for a new admission who will then be placed under monitoring.
Dr. Khaldun also stated that at this time, antigen testing is not recommended nor should be used for screening of asymptomatic individuals, and as such, is not a replacement for the required weekly testing of staff members or residents where applicable.
The association is continuing to seek additional clarity and guidance from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) regarding the use of the testing units as well as reporting requirements and will share as available.
AHCA/NCAL Releases 2021 Quality Award Application Packets
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is pleased to announce that the 2021 application packets are now available online.
The Quality Award portal opens September 17, 2020. At that time, applicants can begin to submit their payment for the intent to apply and begin to write or submit their applications in the portal.
We hope you'll consider applying for this prestigious award. Participating in the program has many benefits:
- It provides a proven framework that organizations can use to make improvements in any clinical, quality or other operational function (i.e. staff engagement, customer satisfaction, hospital readmissions).
- It prepares organizations to meet regulatory requirements and navigate a changing market.
- It serves as a team building activity to engage staff across all levels of the organization.
- Organizations gain national recognition.
- It serves as a marketing resource for consumers, referral sources and other key stakeholders.
- Participants receive customized feedback with their top strengths and improvement areas.
Please visit the Bronze, Silver, or Gold application pages to download your respective award level application materials and to learn how your center should begin preparing.
Key 2021 Program Dates:
- September 17, 2020 - Quality Award Portal opens
- November 12, 2020 - Intent to Apply Deadline
- January 28, 2021 - Application and Fee Deadline
If you're interested in other ways to get involved, consider becoming an Examiner for the 2021 program cycle. Examiners play a significant role in reviewing Quality Award applications and impacting quality improvement in organizations across the country. Examiner program applications will be available on September 17, 2020.
TrendTracker Top-Line Reports Now Available
Your Top-Line report is a LTC Trend Tracker? publication that includes metrics and graphics outlining your skilled nursing center's progress on Five Star performance, the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative, journey through the Quality Awards program, and other necessary data to help your organization achieve your desired goals.
You can download Your Top-Line for your facility by following these steps:
- Log into LTC Trend Tracker
- Once you're logged in, on the left-hand menu, click on "Manage Publications" and then select "View and Download Publications."
- From the "Select a Publication" drop-down list, select "Your Top-Line"
- From the "Select an Organization" drop-down list, select your organization(s).
- Then either use the "Download by Division" pane to download multiple PDFs by quarter, or use the "View and Download Publications by Building" pane to view or download a PDF for a single building.
- (Make sure your web browser allows pop-ups from https://ltctt.ahcancal.org/login, to be able to access the downloaded report.)
LTC Trend Tracker stores these publications under your account. Just follow the steps above and select any quarter you wish to review.
If you wish to change which buildings to review, compare to different peer groups, or monitor trends over time, visit "Run a Report" from the left-hand menu bar to start customizing.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Aug. 11, 2020