LTC Vaccination Program Deadline Extended to Next Friday
The deadline for long term care facilities (nursing facilities, Homes for the Aged, Adult Foster Care, and all other assisted living settings) to sign up to participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program has been extended to Friday, November 6, 2020.
The national vaccine distribution program for long term care residents is being used to register for COVID-19 vaccination distribution. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have shared that distribution will begin immediately when a vaccine is ready for distribution, with long term care residents prioritized for vaccination. Health care workers are prioritized as Tier 1A, with long term care residents prioritized as Tier 1B.
Long term care facilities will have four options to select from:
- Have CVS (partnering with Omnicare) come to your facility and administer the vaccine to residents and any staff not previously vaccinated.
- Have Walgreens (partnering with PharMerica) come to your facility and administer the vaccine to residents and any staff not previously vaccinated.
- Work with your existing pharmacy partner (LTC pharmacy), if they have the capability to meet the requirements demonstrated by a provider agreement with the state or CDC.
- Partner with another entity such as your hospital health care system, local/state health department, etc.
Due to the cold-chain storage and reporting requirements, HCAM/MCAL recommends members choose either CVS or Walgreens as your primary distribution choice, or at least as your secondary if choosing your long term care pharmacy as your first choice.
Long term care facilities must register with the CDC on how they want to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Nursing homes register via NHSN, while assisted living communities and other congregate settings sign up through an online survey.
MDHHS Phase 3 Update on Federal COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is notifying providers that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published additional information about the Phase 3 distribution for the Provider Relief Fund. MDHHS sent Letter L 20-62 to providers on October 21, 2020 with information on HHS's newest eligibility criteria for applying for the Provider Relief Fund. In addition to that new information, HHS has shared the following updates:
- Expanding the pool of eligible provider types
- Clarifying that providers who do not bill Medicare or Medicaid are able to apply
- Clarifying reporting guidelines for providers
HHS scheduled an informational webinar addressing changes to the Provider Relief Fund for November 2, 2020 at 3 pm. Providers can visit www.hhs.gov/providerrelief to register for the webinar, find additional information, and to apply for funding.
HHS Updates Provider Relief Fund FAQs
The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently made a significant number of updates to the Provider Relief Fund FAQs.
Notable changes include:
- New flexibility to update Provider Infection Control and SNF allocation information;
- Additional reporting guidance; and
- New CHOW information.
CMS Hosting NHSN POC Reporting Module Training
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) training for the new NHSN Long-term Care Facility COVID-19 Point of Care (POC) Test Reporting Tool has been rescheduled. The November 2nd training will be a rebroadcast of a previously recorded training followed by a live Q & A session. A recording of the original webinar will be posted for on-line viewing.
Title: Reporting Results of Point of Care Testing for COVID-19: A New NHSN Tool
Date: November 2, 2020
Time: 12:30 - 1:30 PM ESTSpace is limited, register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
MDHHS Removes Deadline to Apply As CRC
Today, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Long Term Care Supports & Services issued an announcement the initial deadline to apply as a Care and Recovery Center (CRC) of October 16, 2020 has been removed.
To ensure that MDHHS' strategy is responsive to changing conditions within the state, the initial October 16th deadline for applications has been removed. Interested nursing facilities are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
The CRC application details are provided below. It is advised that applicants utilize the Care and Recovery Center Application Checklist to ensure the submission of a complete application packet. Failure to provide required documentation will delay the review of your facility's application.
Additional information is below:
Access application here
CRC operational guidance and protocols can be found here
Questions may be submitted to MDHHS-CareAndRecoveryCenters@michigan.gov
HCS Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Study Deadline Extended
The deadline for the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS) Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Study will be extended until November 30. The national study covers Homes for The Aged (HFA), Adult Foster Care (AFC) and other assisted living settings (AL) and is published in cooperation with LeadingAge and supported by NCAL. The study includes questions on how your facility has been impacted by COVID-19.
If you need an extension, please contact HCS through the link below.
Click here to confirm your deadline extension
Download questionnaire at www.hhcsinc.com
Submit your data by November 30 to firstname.lastname@example.org
MDHHS Tightens Statewide Gathering Orders As COVID Cases Rise
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) revised and extended its epidemic order to contain the spread of COVID-19, as Michigan continues to see a surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Although most of the order is unchanged, new provisions target indoor gatherings where COVID has spread most rapidly.
The order reduces from 500 persons to 50 persons the maximum gathering size for indoor gatherings such as weddings, parties, and banquets which occur in nonresidential settings without fixed seating. For bars, restaurants, and social events outside private homes, indoor party sizes at a single table are now restricted to six people.
MDHHS also published strong recommendations for indoor social gatherings, including at Thanksgiving and have compiled the guidance into an infographic. Because no one measure confers complete protection in a gathering, the guidance recommends that individuals take multiple steps together:
- Get together outside whenever possible. You have up to 20 times higher risk of getting sick inside.
- If you do get together inside, include no more than two households and 10 people.
- Limit time inside together--greater duration is greater risk.
- Wear a mask - take it off when you eat or drink, then put it back on.
- Keep six feet apart as much as you can.
- When possible, keep voices down; high volume can increase COVID transmission by 30 times
- Wash hands regularly and try to not to share utensils.
Because cases are now at a high level statewide, the order treats all regions of the state the same. The Traverse City region previously had fewer restrictions due to lower COVID-19 rates and has now been moved into Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start system, joining the rest of the state.
Superior Health QIO to Launch AHRQ's ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network Hub
The Superior Health Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) has been approved as an Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network Hub and is actively recruiting nursing facilities within Michigan and Wisconsin interested in participating in the ECHO program. Superior Health is anticipating kicking off their ECHO Hub activities the week of November 9, 2020.
The ECHO program has been developed in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the AHRQ to provide COVID education and support to nursing facilities across the nation. Participating facilities will receive additional funds from CMS designed to support staff time and resources associated with the training.
The Superior Health COVID ECHO project will be a 16-week interactive virtual community will utilize an "all teach, all learn" model to advance improvements in COVID-19 preparedness, safety, and infection control. Each cohort will meet weekly to discuss real cases and identify methods to overcome challenges through support by peers and Subject Matter Experts.
The goals of this program, aims to help nursing homes implement evidence based best practices related to:
- Prevent COVID-19 from entering nursing home
- Early identification of residents and staff who have been infected with COVID-19
- Prevent the spread of COVID-19 between staff, residents, and visitors
- Provide safe and appropriate care to residents with mild and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19
- Reduce social isolation for residents, families, and staff during these difficult times
This Nursing Home COVID ECHO program is free to join. For additional information regarding the Superior Health Hub, or to complete an application to join click HERE.
SNF QRP October Refresh 2020 Complete, Now Frozen Until Jan 2022
The October 2020 refresh of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) data is now available on Nursing Home Compare (NHC) website, as well as the Nursing homes including rehab services web pages within Care Compare (CCXP) and Provider Data Catalog (PDC).
The data are based on quality assessment data submitted by SNFs to CMS from Quarter 1 2019 through Quarter 4 2019 (01/01/2019 -12/31/2019); and the annual update of the claims-based measures data from Quarter 4 2017 - Quarter 3 2019 (10/01/2017 - 9/30/2019).
Starting in October 2020, six additional SNF QRP measures will be publicly reported on NHC, CCXP and PDC:
- Changes in Skin Integrity Post-Acute Care: Pressure Ulcer/Injury,
- Drug Regimen Review Conducted with Follow-Up for Identified Issues - PAC SNF QRP,
- Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Self-Care (NQF #2633),
- Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Mobility (NQF #2634),
- Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Discharge Self-Care Score (NQF #2635), and
- Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Discharge Mobility Score (NQF #2636).
Note: The October 2020 refresh of the SNF QRP data on Nursing Home Compare/Care Compare Sites is the last scheduled refresh of this data until the January 2022 refresh. For additional information, please review the available SNF QRP Public Reporting Tip Sheet.
CMS Offers On-Line MDS Training Resources
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new on-line training resources to assist in understanding coding requirements for the Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments. These resources:
HCAM and MCAL Updates
The association is changing email distribution systems on Monday. Please check your spam folders to ensure you are receiving all of the updates. If you don't receive an update by Tuesday evening, please contact Elizabeth Thomas at ElizabethThomas@HCAM.org.