MDHHS Updates MI Safe Start Risk Map
Last evening, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) adjusted the MI Safe Start Map which identifies COVID-19 risk levels across the state. With the updates to the map, all of the state has moved to Medium to High risk. The MI Safe Start Map is used to determine progression in reopening phases across the State of Michigan, as well as the COVID testing cadence for healthcare providers.
For providers in Regions 6 & 8, the upper Northern Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula, the move to a medium risk status requires weekly COVID testing of all staff members. For more information on testing cadence or the testing reimbursement process click HERE.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Ombudsman Office Sharing Survey Information with Legislators
The association was informed the Ombudsman's Office has begun sending letters to legislators regarding survey activity. In a conversation with Salli Pung, State Long Term Care Ombudsman and Alison Hershel, Managing Attorney, Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, this week the two shared these letters are representative of a long time goal to share public information with elected officials.
Ms. Pung shared the intent of the letters is to alert elected officials to negative survey findings as well as good surveys of nursing facilities in their districts. Ms. Pung shared the intent is to share surveys that result in immediate jeopardy level citations, as well as some harm level citations, or surveys in which a facility receives a high number of citations, such as double the state average; adding surveys with a high number of citations are representative of a lack of systems and processes. In addition, the Ombudsman plans to share survey findings of those facilities who have had a "good" survey, although the criteria for determining a good survey was not defined.
The Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Office of Federal Survey and Certification Division shared their office has been contacted by some legislators requesting more information since the letters began being issued. Michelle Roepke shared her team has been attempting to educate callers as to the survey process and sharing the language in a CMS-2567 Report is not reflective of the full process or representative of actions that providers have taken to address identified non-compliance. The association is working with Ms. Pung to provide additional education and reference materials in the letters being sent regarding the regulatory process to ensure a better understanding of survey activity and outcomes.
If you are contacted by your local state representative or senator and have questions or need assistance, please contact Richie Farran at RichFarran@HCAM.org or Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
July 8, 2020