Pay Cycle Delay
Provider payments from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for Pay Date 10/1/2020 will be delayed one day.
Specifically, CHAMPS payments and Remittance Advices (RA), i.e. HIPAA Electronic 835 transactions & paper for pay cycle 40, pay date 10/01/2020, will be delayed one day to 10/02/2020.
Providers with further questions please contact Provider Support at 1-800-292-2550 or by email ProviderSupport@Michigan.gov.
Update to Paid Leave of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On Friday, September 11 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an update to the temporary rule issued in April regarding coronavirus leave. This update changes the definition of health care workers. Employees defined as health care workers are not required to have paid sick leave. Other employees of providers are required to have paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. The details of the updated definitions and requirements are provided below. This applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Aggregation of employees across locations is possible in certain instances. This rule applies to nursing facilities and all long term care facilities which would include IDD and assisted living providers that meet the definitions in the rule.
Providers should work with their employment counsel to determine whether these leave provisions apply directly to their specific facility & staff.
This revision was issued in response to a district court decision in New York which found part of the original rule invalid. The revisions impact the definition of a health care provider which can be exempted from paid leave and emergency family and medical leave expansion act (EFMLEA) requirements.
The new definition is limited to those providing health care services and those reporting to health care providers. This definition includes employees who may not directly interact with patients but provide services that are integrated with and necessary for the provision of patient care. Examples of duties considered necessary for patient care include bathing, dressing, and feeding a patient/resident who cannot perform the activity independently. For assisted living, this could include direct care providers, CNAs, personal care assistants, or other titles providing direct care to residents. Previously, all employees, regardless of job activity, in a health care facility were included in the broad definition of health care provider and thus excluded from the paid leave requirements.
DOL defines covered employees as "employees who do not provide health care services, even if their services could affect the provision of health care services." Examples include building maintenance staff, human resources personnel, cooks, food services workers, and records and billing staff.
Covered paid sick leave for non-health care staff includes up to two weeks of COVID-19-related paid sick leave if an employee is:
- Under quarantine order from a government entity (local, state or federal);
- Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
- Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis;
- Caring for another who meets any of the above conditions; or
- Caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19-related reasons.
EFMLEA for non-health care staff includes:
- Up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, some of which is paid in certain circumstances, if unable to work due to need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19-related reasons.
Currently, the coronavirus leave requirements are in place through December 31, 2020. Members should familiarize themselves with these new requirements which go into effect on Wednesday, September 16.
False Positive Results with BD Veritor Antigen Testing
AHCA has become aware of reports of BD Veritor antigen testing units producing false positives with staff and resident testing. AHCA is working closely with the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the BD Veritor leadership to ascertain the extent of the problem and to understand the cause(s). HCAM askw that you share reports of suspected false positive antigen POC tests (with either BD or Quidel) with Cathy by emailing CathySunlin@hcam.org. In the meantime, we ask you assist by completing the following survey.
Please complete this short survey about your use of the BD and Quidel point of antigen tests by midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15. This will help us better understand the issues surrounding these tests.
AHCA is coordinating efforts with BD and federal officials to better understand the problem. Both are working diligently to investigate these preliminary reports. Below is an update of developments to date as well as the efforts to address:
- BD has set up special direct number for providers to call ONLY about false positives
- Call Sara Lewis at 207-522-7563 only for providers who experience multiple false positives (note: This number will likely be changed in the next few days).; or
- email BD at Technical_Services@bd.com
- BD offers this microsite and these training webinars which we encourage members to review if they are having concerns with accuracy to make sure they are following all the instructions correctly.
- Members should in addition should notify their local health department and state public health agency.
- Members should continue to use these POC tests, however we encourage you follow the CDC guidance and algorithm on when to conduct confirmation testing of positive antigen tests.
- BD has set up an investigation team. Among other activities, the team is conducting site visits to nursing homes with multiple false positives in several states. The team expects to have preliminary results by early next week.
As additional information becomes available, HCAM will share it with members.
EEE & WNV Cases on The Rise, MDHHS Shares Guidance & Planned Aerial Treatments
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has received reports of 7 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) from Barry, Clinton, Ingham, Kent, Oakland and Wayne Counties. Additionally, 22 horses have tested positive for Eastern Equine encephalitis (EEE) in Barry, Clare, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland counties. A case in a horse means people in that area are also at risk.
Due to the increased cases, MDHHS is encouraging individuals in counties affected by EEE to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, until the first hard frost of the year. EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill. Persons younger than age 15 and over age 50 are at greatest risk of severe disease following infection.
Signs of EEE infection include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches, which can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing these symptoms should contact a medical provider. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.
Today, Monday September 14th, MDHHS has announced plans to conduct aerial mosquito control treatment in certain high-risk areas of Michigan. Treatment is scheduled to occur starting the evening of Wednesday, September 16th. However, treatment can only take place under certain weather conditions, so the schedule may need to change. Residents are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/EEE for up-to-date information and to view aerial treatment locations.
New "Spread Hope, Not COVID" Campaign Urges All Michiganders to Join Together to Safely Reopen the State
A new public education campaign launched today by Michigan public health officials and coalition whose members touch the lives of millions of citizens urges all Michiganders to unite to contain the spread of COVID-19 so the state's economy, schools and communities can safely reopen - and stay open. HCAM is a part of the coalition.
The "Spread Hope, Not COVID" campaign already includes about 50 of Michigan's leading health care, business, education, community, manufacturing, tourism, senior citizen, labor, faith-based, and public safety organizations and is led by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The campaign calls on all Michiganders to join together to "Spread Hope, Not COVID" by taking actions that will significantly reduce the spread of the virus including wearing masks, washing and sanitizing hands, practicing physical distancing, and more.
Click HERE to watch their commercial.
The "Spread Hope, Not COVID" campaign is funded through legislation approved by both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
Sept. 12, 2020