CDC Updates NHSN Questions, SNF Providers Should Double Check Data Submissions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Resident Impact and Facility Capacity pathway to include four new questions relating to the use of Point of Care testing.
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) shared they are working to align EMResources to include the new questions, however expect it will take another week before the update is complete and tested. In the meantime, providers should be logging into NHSN to double check their data submissions and answer the outstanding questions as needed.
The added questions include:
- Does the LTCF have an in-house point-of-care test machine (capability to perform COVID-19 testing within your facility)??Yes/No Answer
- Since the last date of data entry in the Module, how many COVID-19 point-of-care tests has the LTCF performed on residents? Enter a specific number
- Since the last date of data entry in the Module, how many COVID-19 point-of-care tests has the LTCF performed on staff and/or facility personnel? Enter a specific number
- Based on this week's inventory, do you have enough supplies to test all staff and/or facility personnel for COVID-19 using the point-of-care test machine? Yes/No Answer
The CDC also added important information, including:
- Clarification on CONFIRMED Notes section to address differences in testing devices and clarity of positive COVID-19 test results; and
- Ho??w to recognize and report reinfections to align with patients who have persistent or recurring positive test results.
Governor Whitmer Meets with White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Requests Federal Support to Expand Testing, Save Lives
From the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor:
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer met with White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx in Lansing to discuss Michigan's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Dr. Birx as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan. This virus remains a serious threat to our families, our frontline workers, and our economy, and what's needed is more support at the federal level to help us expand testing, ensure everyone wears a mask while in public, support our frontline workers and small businesses, and save lives," said Governor Whitmer. "I reiterated the need for enhanced federal leadership and clear, consistent communication across the Administration during my meeting with Dr. Birx, and I am hopeful that she will take this message back to the president in order to help us protect our families."
The governor also expressed her concerns with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) abrupt change last week to discourage asymptomatic testing even among individuals who may have been exposed. "This updated guidance, while voluntary, runs counter to what we are learning about this disease and jeopardizes our ability to return to school and work safely," she said.
During her meeting with Dr. Birx, the governor further reiterated the need for a national mask mandate that could save thousands of American lives.
The governor also spoke with Dr. Birx about the important role the Michigan National Guard plays in implementing Michigan's testing plan. The Michigan National Guard has been crucial in assisting the Department of Corrections with testing MDOC staff and people serving time in Michigan prisons. To date, the state has also facilitated testing for over 40,837 residents and staff in nursing homes. President Trump has imposed a 25 percent state cost share for funding the Michigan National Guard COVID-19 response from August 21 to December 31, 2020. This places additional financial burdens on the state, making it more difficult for the Michigan National Guard to support the state's testing goals and save lives. That's why in her meeting with Dr. Birx, the governor requested the Administration restore full federal funding for the Michigan National Guard to support Michigan's testing operations in vulnerable settings like nursing homes and prisons.
MDHHS Nursing Facility Audit Webinar
The MDHHS LTC Reimbursement and Audit Division announced the offering of its 2nd annual Nursing Facility Audit Webinar this fall.
Topics that will be discussed during this webinar include:
- COVID-19 updates for Nursing Facilities
- Revisiting Audit Timelines and Procedures
- Audit Finding trends from the past year
- Cost Report Error trends from the past year
There will be two webinar opportunities offered:
- Thursday, September 24th, 9:30am - noon EST Register HERE
- Tuesday, September 29th, 9:30am - noon EST Register HERE
To ensure an opportunity for questions/answers and meaningful discussion, attendance will be limited. Therefore, please register and secure your spot in advance. Once capacity is reached for a webinar, registration will close. Confirmation emails & webinar information will be sent to each attendee that is signed up.
Nursing Facility POC COVID Testing Unit Distribution Ahead of Schedule
During a press conference Tuesday September 1 2020, Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), shared plans to distribute COVID point of care (POC) antigen testing units is ahead of schedule, with more than 10,000 units already distributed. Giroir indicated the final shipment of testing units is expected to be completed by the end of next week.
Effective Today: CMS' New COVID-19 Nursing Facility Testing Requirements
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) interim final rule on testing goes into effect today, September 2, 2020. The COVID testing requirements issued earlier this summer by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) are more rigorous in most instances than the newly released federal requirements, except in the instance of Outbreak Testing or for Screening Testing in counties with a high positivity rate as identified by CMS.
In addition, MDHHS is expected to release updated guidance on the use of antigen testing for Screening Testing that aligns with the most recent updates shared by CMS and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Outbreak Testing will require providers to test both staff and residents weekly if a new case is identified in either a staff member or a resident. This weekly testing of all continues until a minimum of 14 days has elapsed since the last positive test.
Screening Testing in counties with a high positivity rating as identified on the CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data webpage requires bi-weekly testing. For staff members who only work weekends, this could require testing on consecutive days, Saturday and Sunday, to meet the bi-weekly requirements.
AHCA has developed resources to help skilled nursing facilities understand and meet these new requirements. Michigan providers should keep in mind in reviewing these resources the Michigan testing requirements are more stringent in many areas. Michigan providers must follow the more stringent requirements as it applies to testing.
AHCA Summary of Testing and Reporting Requirements
This resource summarizes the QSO memos and the guidance established by CMS for testing and reporting.
Office Hours: Meeting CMS' Testing Requirements - 9/2, 9/3 and 9/4 at 4 pm EST
AHCA will host a series of "office hours" with staff experts Dr. David Gifford, Courtney Bishnoi and Jill Sumner to briefly review the new requirements and guidance and answer any questions providers may have. The office hours are scheduled for September 2, 3 and 4 at 4:00 pm EST. Web-ex information is as follows:
- Join via web: Web-Ex Meeting Link
- Join via phone: 1-415-655-0003
- Meeting number (access code): 172 882 5865
- Meeting password: mUi2SxhjC56
Webinar: Batch Testing on the Sofia2 - 9/3 at 3 pm EST
Quidel will be hosting a webinar for members on Thursday, September 3 at 3:00 pm EST to explain how providers can conduct a high volume of tests in a short period of time using the Sofia2 batch testing functionality.
Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Devices: What SNF's Need to Know
This resource offers steps providers need to take when they receive their rapid point-of-care antigen devices from HHS.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Sept. 2, 2020