SB 690: MDHHS Releases Information for PPE Grant
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued information for the $25 million PPE grant program contained in Senate Bill 690.
The grant program is available to numerous healthcare providers, including nursing facilities and residential congregate facilities. The program will provide funds to providers to cover costs for up to 90 days of PPE for frontline employees. Grant awards of up to $250,000 will be made based on the number of client-facing workers at each facility.
Under the program, the award amount is set by a formula per patient/client-facing FTE, adjusted for the typical amount and type of PPE needed in that setting. Group 1 facilities receive $1,000 per frontline FTE. Group 2 facilities receive $2,500 per frontline FTE - long-term care facilities are included in Group 2.
PPE must have been purchased on or after March 1, 2020, and delivered before December 30, 2020. Proof of purchase and delivery will be required.
You can find further details in the FAQ document HERE.
You can apply for a grant on the program webpage by clicking HERE.
Fees in HFA and AFC
The Michigan Attorney General's office recently issued notice to some of Michigan's senior living communities to cease charging an additional fee to cover COVID-related expenses.
It is our understanding that this is considered to be a violation of consumer protection laws.
MCAL reached out to our Licensing Director, Jay Calewarts for guidance from a licensing perspective. Director Calewarts shared the following:
"From a licensing standpoint, as long as the resident or their guardian/designee is given proper notice and signs an updated resident care agreement agreeing to any fee increase, that is all we would be looking for. We have seen some facilities add a COVID-19 fee without proper notice and informed those facilities that they cannot do that and requested a CAP. Licensing rules or statute do not give a timeframe for notice. Essentially the rules just say that any changes that are made would need to be explained and signed off on by the resident or their guardian/representative in an updated resident care plan for AFC or a service plan for HFA. While a 30 day notice may be typical, it is not required by rule or statute."
"If the resident or their representative doesn't sign, then the facility cannot charge any additional fees. The facility could then issue a proper 30 discharge notice for not agreeing to the additional fees (from a licensing standpoint). If the facility and resident/resident rep. both agree and sign a new resident care agreement/service plan, nothing would prohibit those additional charges from being effective immediately."
The Director also stated, "I have also heard that the AG has been looking at if the facility received COVID/CARES money and if so, my understanding is they believe that facilities should not be charging "COVID-19 fees." That is outside our scope/authority though so not something licensing would be looking at.
MCAL recommends that our member facilities following rules related to resident fees closely.
· Homes for the Aged, R325.1922 Rule 22 (3) c
· Adult Foster Care, R400.15301 Rule 310 (6) a, b, c
If you have questions, please contact Linda Lawther at email@example.com.
CMS Releases County Positivity Rates to Guide COVID Testing Cadence
Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance regarding required COVID testing for nursing facilities nationwide. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) had previously put forward requirements for Michigan nursing facilities to test for COVID among residents and staff. Between federal and state requirements, providers must adhere to the more stringent. In this case, Michigan providers will need to adhere to the more rigorous weekly staff testing required by MDHHS to comply with Routine Testing requirements, as well as the more stringent Outbreak Testing requirements dictated on the federal side.
The federal testing requirements become effective on September 2, 2020. CMS has shared they expect to update the Positivity Rates by County as posted on the CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data Webpage on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month. We recommend providers check this site on those dates to determine any needed changes to your Routine Testing plan.
Currently, all facilities within Michigan are testing staff members at a weekly cadence due to all regions being at a Medium to High Risk status. With the CMS Positivity Rates By County posted on today, Michigan providers should continue testing staff weekly unless its county is identified by CMS to be at a > 10% Positivity Rate, in which case requirements would increase to bi-weekly.
NOTE: Under the CMS Outbreak Testing requirements, any new positive result of either staff or resident will require all staff and residents to undergo testing every 3 to 7 days until there are no further positives for a minimum of 14 days. Once an individual tests positive, they are exempted from further testing for a period of 90 days. After the 90 day period, they must return to the required testing.
CMS has also identified that facilities not in compliance with COVID testing will be cited at F-886. However, if a facility has documented attempts at compliance, and has notified both the local health department and its Survey Manager, they will not be cited.
For a current list of Michigan only County Positivity Rates click HERE.
Medicaid QMI Resident Satisfaction Survey
The Medicaid Quality Measure Initiative (QMI) program requires an annual survey on resident satisfaction. In late June, Medicaid issued L 20-36 notifying facilities of this requirement and where to send the survey results, along with establishing a due date for submission of data by September 18, 2020. If your facility does not submit survey data timely, your QMI payment will be reduced by 15 percent. Don't lose this funding by not getting your survey results in by the due date.
HCAM does not anticipate any changes to the satisfaction survey process. Medicaid has not specified a certain survey tool but allows providers to use their own tool each year. The facility will need to complete a new survey from previous years to reflect the residents who recently were provided services. Medicaid has established a QMI website where additional information and materials are available. Be aware the website still references 2019 materials, however these are still applicable for use. Any questions about QMI payments may be emailed to MDHHS-NFQMI@michigan.gov.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Aug. 28, 2020